High-cholesterol levels are one of the biggest threats people face, as it increase the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases. According to surveys, one in three Americans has high cholesterol, with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol which is a major risk factor for atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.
But worry not! High cholesterol can be treated, by making smart choices and simple food swaps. Choosing cholesterol-Lowering foods to your diet can reduce cholesterol levels by as much as 10 to 15 percent.
Avocados are a potent source of nutrients and rich source of heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fats. Including an avocado a day to your diet can help improve lowering cholesterols in people who are overweight or obese. Avocados have the cholesterol-smashing beta-sitosterol, to help lower harmful LDL levels by more than 8 percent. Add avocado slices to salads and sandwiches or eating them as a side dish, but do it in moderation, as these foods are high in calories and fat.
2. Beans & Legumes
Rich in fibre, high in protein and low in fat, Beans, lentils and peas are best foods for your health. A research study has found that daily intake of half a cup of cooked dried pinto beans for 12 weeks, have reduced LDL cholesterol by about 7 percent. Beans add only fewer calories, and they are also good food for those who are on weight loss.
3. Fatty Fish
A natural source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids, Fatty fish including Salmon, Tuna, Halibut can get rid of heart diseases, dementia, and many other diseases, besides lowering cholesterol. Replacing saturated fats with omega-3s can increase good cholesterol as much by 4%. Consume at least two servings of fatty fish every week.
4. Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate, with its powerful antioxidant properties can increase the good cholesterol levels. Compared to Milk Chocolates, Dark chocolates have three times more antioxidants, and the flavonoids aid in keeping blood platelets from sticking together, and from arteries unclogged. Pick the dark or bittersweet kind for lowering Cholesterol
Nuts are perfects snacks for your daily diet, thanks to high monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which helps not only in lowering cholesterol levels, but also makes you healthier. Include Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachio, Pecans in diet, as they are rich in fibre, Vitamin E and Selenium. Add the nuts to salads, pasta, or yogurt, which is a healthy snack. Eating 1.5 ounces of whole walnuts for 6 days a week can reduce cholesterol levels by 5.4 percent in a month.
Green and Black teas have high antioxidant levels, and keeps blood vessels relaxed and prevent blood clots. Green Tea is rich in anti-oxidants and is best known for cancer-fighting foods, but also shows impact on cholesterol levels. Packed with catechin polyphenols, Green tea lowers bad cholesterol, while Black Tea can lower blood lipids by up to 10% in only 3 weeks.
7. Red Wine
Thanks to the polyphenol antioxidants, Red Wine can produce a rise in HDL cholesterol by as much as 5 to 15 percent. However, the intake of drinks like back margaritas or mixed drinks with fruit juice will not help you much. The antioxidants such as flavonoids in Red Wine lower LDL and boosts HDL. However, AHA recommends you to limit your daily intake of Red Wine to two glasses for men and one glass for women.
8. Olive Oil
We call Olive Oil as nutritional superstar. Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, Olive Oil is often recommended by nutritionists and cardiologists to replace it with butter and other animal fats. It can lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol and increase “good” HDL. Two tablespoons of Olive Oil a days can benefit you.
The Heart-healthy green food is packed with lots of lutein, which guards against heart attacks by lowering the cholesterol invaders that cause artery walls clogging. Spinach can also protect you from age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. Consume ½ cup of Spinach or other dark leafy green Vegetables a day.
The polyphenols, antioxidant compounds found in apples and apple juice allows you to inhibit LDL or bad cholesterol. Apples are rich source of soluble fiber with cholesterol lowering potential. You can always substitute apples with grapefruits, pear, prines or dried figs, as they have similar cholesterol-lowering abilities