Diet To Lower Blood Sugar And Cholesterol – High levels of cholesterol — especially “bad” LDL — are associated with an increased risk of heart disease (
Legumes are high in fiber, minerals and protein. Replacing some of the refined grains and processed meats in your diet with legumes can reduce your risk of heart disease.
A review of 26 randomized controlled trials found that eating 1/2 cup (100 grams) of fruit per day was effective in lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol by an average of 6.6 mg/dL compared to no fruit.
Summary Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and lentils, can help lower “bad” LDL levels and are a good source of plant-based protein.
They are a rich source of monounsaturated fat and fiber—two nutrients that help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol (5).
In one study, overweight and obese adults with high LDL cholesterol who ate one avocado a day lowered their LDL levels more than those who did not eat avocados.
An analysis of 10 studies found that substituting avocados for other fats was associated with lower total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides (7).
They contain a lot of monounsaturated fats. Walnuts are also rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat linked to heart health (8).
Almonds and other nuts are especially rich in L-arginine, an amino acid that helps the body produce nitric oxide. This, in turn, helps regulate blood pressure (8,
In addition, nuts provide phytosterols. These plant compounds are structurally similar to cholesterol and help lower cholesterol by blocking its absorption in the intestines.
Calcium, magnesium and potassium, also found in nuts, can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
In a review of 25 studies, eating 2-3 servings of walnuts per day lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol by an average of 10.2 mg/dL.
Daily nut consumption is associated with a 28% lower risk of fatal and non-fatal heart disease (8).
Summary Walnuts are rich in cholesterol-lowering fat and fiber, as well as minerals linked to improved heart health.
In a large 25-year study of adults, those who ate the most uncooked fish were the least likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that includes high blood pressure and “good” HDL levels.
In another large study of older adults, those who ate tuna or other baked or broiled fish at least once a week had a 27 percent lower risk of stroke.
Remember that the healthiest way to cook fish is to bake or boil it. In fact, fried fish may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke (
Fish is a key part of the Mediterranean diet, which has been extensively studied for its heart-healthy benefits (
Some of the heart-protective benefits of fish may also come from certain peptides found in fish protein (
Summary Oily fish contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
In fact, a review of 45 studies linked eating three servings of whole grains daily to a 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke. The benefits were even greater when people ate more breads a day—up to seven—from whole grains (
Whole grains keep all parts of the grain intact, providing more vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber than refined grains.
Summary Whole grains are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Oats and corn provide beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that is very effective in lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol.
This encourages your body to get rid of cholesterol and prevents your liver from producing this compound.
A type of soluble fiber called pectin lowers cholesterol by up to 10%. It is found in fruits, including apples, grapes, citrus fruits, and strawberries (
The fruit also contains bioactive compounds that, due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, help prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases.
Eating berries and grapes, which are especially rich sources of these plant compounds, can help increase “good” HDL and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol (22).
Fruit nuts can lower cholesterol and improve heart health. This is mainly due to its fiber and antioxidants.
It may sound too good to be true, but research supports the claims that dark chocolate and cocoa can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.
They found a decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol by 0.17 mmol/l (6.5 mg/dl). They also had lower blood pressure and higher “good” HDL cholesterol (
Cocoa and dark chocolate also appear to protect the “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood from oxidation, which is a major cause of heart disease.
Therefore, prefer to use only cocoa or choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 75-85% or more.
Summary Flavonoids in dark chocolate and cocoa may help lower blood pressure and “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol.
Studies show that garlic lowers blood pressure in people with high levels and helps lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol—although the latter’s effect is less strong (27,
Because relatively large amounts of garlic are required to achieve this heart-protective effect, many studies use elderberry extracts, which are considered more effective than other garlic preparations.
Summary Allicin and other plant compounds in garlic may help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce other risk factors for heart disease.
An analysis of 35 studies linked soy foods to lower “bad” LDL and total cholesterol and increased “good” HDL cholesterol.
Summary There is some evidence that soy foods may reduce risk factors for heart disease, especially in people with high cholesterol.
They are high in fiber and antioxidants and low in calories, which are essential for maintaining a healthy weight.
Some vegetables are especially high in pectin, the same cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber found in apples and oranges.
Vegetables also provide a variety of plant compounds that offer many health benefits, including protection against heart disease.
While green tea gets a lot of attention, black and white tea have similar properties and health effects.
Although most studies link tea to lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol, research on its effects on “good” HDL cholesterol and blood pressure is mixed (35).
Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach contain lutein and other carotenoids that have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Carotenoids act as antioxidants to get rid of harmful free radicals that can cause hardening of the arteries (
Dark green leafy vegetables can also help lower cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids and causing your body to excrete more cholesterol (
The study found that lutein reduces levels of oxidized “bad” LDL cholesterol and can help bind cholesterol to artery walls.
Summary Dark leafy vegetables are rich in carotenoids, including lutein, which has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
A five-year study gave older adults at risk of heart disease 4 tablespoons (60 ml) a day along with a Mediterranean diet.
The group that consumed olive oil had a 30 percent lower risk of major cardiovascular events, such as stroke and heart attack, compared to people who followed a low-fat diet ( 40Trusted Source ).
Olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which help raise “good” HDL and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.
It is also a source of polyphenols, some of which reduce inflammation that can lead to heart disease (41).
Summary A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil provides heart-strengthening monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants.
Adding these foods will get you on your way to a balanced diet and keep your heart healthy.
You can also try techniques like mindful eating to ensure you enjoy your food and are full without overindulging.
Our experts are constantly monitoring the field of health and wellness, and we update our articles as new information becomes available.Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD, founder of Milk & Honey Nutrition, is a diabetes nutritionist (registered nutritionist) with a degree. Follow her diabetes knowledge and cooking expertise in easy recipes and articles!
In this article, we will take a closer look at how to lower blood sugar levels immediately and which foods help lower blood sugar over time.
There is no food that will miraculously protect your body from developing diabetes. However, there are some foods that research has shown can help promote healthy blood sugar levels over time. Keep reading to learn how to lower blood sugar immediately, foods that help lower blood sugar, and what foods to eat when your blood sugar is higher than you’d like.
*This article is not intended to provide advice, diagnosis, opinion, treatment or service. This article and the links it contains provide general information for educational purposes only. The information in this article is not a substitute for medical care. It should not be used as a substitute for the advice of your physician or registered dietitian.*
Before we begin, let’s review some definitions of what “normal blood sugar” means for people without diabetes:
If you have diabetes (of any type), your doctor will discuss specific blood sugar goals with you. These goals can vary based on many factors.
How to lower blood sugar quickly and in time
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