Your diet contributes greatly to your cholesterol levels. Some small adjustments, in addition to regular exercise and healthy lifestyle choices, can help improve your cholesterol and keep your heart healthy.
One of the easiest ways to achieve a healthy balance of cholesterol is a bowl of oatmeal or oat-based cereal. You can get around 2 grams of soluble fiber from this. Still want more fiber? Add some strawberries or banana slices. An average person should get 20 – 35 grams of fiber, 5 – 10 grams of which should be from soluble fiber.
Beans are great sources of soluble fiber. They also make you feel full for longer as the digestive system processes them more slowly than other food sources. That’s why people who want to lose weight often favor beans. Another good thing about beans is that they are very versatile. Indeed, beans come in all shapes and sizes, from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed pea, to name a few. Soybeans and foods made from them such as soy milk or tofu have been proven to be effective in reducing bad cholesterol. Findings show that consuming 25 grams of soy protein daily can reduce one’s LDL levels by 5 – 6%.
Fatty fish delivers LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Not only do omega-3s reduce triglycerides but they also protect your heart from abnormal heart rhythms.
Avocados are famous for their high concentration of nutrients and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Recent research suggests a daily avocado in combination with a healthy diet may improve LDL levels in overweight or obese people. To get the most out of your avocadoes, add them to your salads and sandwiches, or enjoy them as a side dish.
Walnuts, almonds and other kinds of nuts are your best friends. Walnuts are full of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, making them beneficial for the health of your blood vessels. Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, and pistachio nuts are wonderful as well. Eating a handful of them (approximately 42.5 grams) is believed to reduce one’s risk of heart disease. Try incorporating nuts into your diet by using them in place of cheese or croutons in your salads. However, not all the nuts are good for you. Manufacturers often salt or coat nuts with sugar, which is not healthy. So, when you shop for nuts, make sure you read the labels carefully to avoid those with added salt and sugar.
Also, nuts are high in calories, meaning they can make you gain weight if you overindulge in them. Therefore, don’t exceed the one-handful-per-day limit since they will do more harm than good.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 28, 2017 | Last Modified: August 28, 2017