Diet To Lower Sugar And Cholesterol – Having a high level of cholesterol – especially the “bad” LDL – is associated with a risk of heart disease (heart disease).
Seeds are high in fiber, minerals and protein. Replacing refined grains and processed meats in your diet with seeds can reduce your risk of heart disease.
A study of 26 randomized controlled studies showed that eating 1/2 cup (100 grams) of legumes per day was effective in reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol by an average of 6.6 mg/dl, if compared to not eating vegetables (
Summary Legumes such as beans, peas and lentils 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 reduce “bad” LDL and increase “good” HDL cholesterol (5).
In another study, overweight and obese adults with high LDL cholesterol who ate one avocado per day reduced their LDL levels more than those who did not eat avocados.
An analysis of 10 studies found that replacing avocados with other fats was associated with lower cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides (7).
They are very high in monounsaturated fats. Walnuts are also rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat associated with heart health (8).
Almonds and other nuts are particularly rich in L-arginine, an amino acid that helps your body produce nitric oxide. This, in turn, helps control blood pressure (8,
In addition, nuts provide phytosterols. These plant compounds are similar to cholesterol and help lower cholesterol by preventing its absorption in your intestines.
Calcium, magnesium and potassium, found in nuts, can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
In an analysis of 25 studies, eating 2-3 nuts per day reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol by an average of 10.2 mg/dl (
Eating a daily serving of nuts is associated with a 28% lower risk of fatal and fatal heart disease (8).
Summary Nuts are rich in cholesterol-lowering fats and fiber, as well as minerals linked to improved heart health.
In a large, 25-year study of adults, those who ate the least amount of fried fish were the least likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that include high blood pressure and low levels of “good” HDL.
In another large study of adults, those who ate tuna or other cooked or grilled fish at least once a week had a 27% lower risk of stroke (
Remember that the healthiest ways to cook fish are hot or stewed. In fact, fried fish may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke (
Fish is a large part of the Mediterranean diet, which has been widely studied for its benefits for heart health (
Some of the heart-protective benefits of fish may come from certain peptides found in fish protein (
Summary Oily fish provide high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
In fact, a review of 45 studies linked eating three whole grains per day to a 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke. The benefits are even greater when people eat more servings — up to seven — of whole grains per day (
Whole grains keep all parts of the grain intact, providing more vitamins, minerals, plant compounds and fiber than refined grains.
Summary Whole grains are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Oats and barley provide beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that is very effective in lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol.
It does this by encouraging your body to release cholesterol and stopping your liver from making this compound.
Another type of soluble fiber called pectin lowers cholesterol by up to 10%. It is found in fruits including apples, grapes, citrus fruits and berries (
The fruit also contains bioactive compounds that help prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Eating berries and grapes, which are rich sources of these plants, can help increase “good” HDL and reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol (22).
Summary Fruit helps lower cholesterol and improve heart health. This is mainly due to fiber and antioxidants.
It sounds too good to be true, but research backs up the claims that dark chocolate and cocoa can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.
They found a reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol of 0.17 mmol/l (6.5 mg/dl). Their blood pressure also decreased and their “good” HDL cholesterol increased (
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, you should use cocoa alone or choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 75-85% or more.
Summary The flavonoids in dark chocolate and cocoa help lower blood pressure and “bad” LDL cholesterol while raising “good” HDL cholesterol.
Studies have shown that garlic lowers blood pressure in people with high levels and helps reduce total and “bad” LDL cholesterol – although the latter effect is very strong (27,
Because large amounts of garlic are needed to achieve this heart-protective effect, many studies have used older supplements – which have been found to be 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 the soy diet to a reduction in “bad” LDL and total cholesterol, and an increase in “good” HDL cholesterol.
Summary There is evidence that eating soy can reduce the risk of heart disease, especially in people with high cholesterol.
They are rich in fiber and antioxidants and low in calories, which are necessary to maintain a healthy weight.
Some vegetables are high in pectin, the same cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber found in apples and oranges (
Vegetables also provide a variety of plant compounds that provide many health benefits, including protection against heart disease.
Although green tea gets a lot of attention, black tea and white tea have similar properties and health effects.
Although several studies have linked tea with lower cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol, research is mixed on its effects on “good” HDL cholesterol and blood pressure (35).
Dark leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, contain lutein and other carotenoids, which have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease (
Carotenoids act as antioxidants to neutralize free radicals that can cause hardening of the arteries.
Dark leafy greens help lower cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids and making your body excrete more cholesterol (
Some research suggests that lutein can reduce levels of oxidized LDL “bad” cholesterol and help prevent cholesterol from binding to artery walls.
Summary Green leafy vegetables are rich in carotenoids, including lutein, which have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
A five-year study gave adults at risk of heart disease 4 tablespoons (60 ml) a day of extra virgin olive oil along with a Mediterranean diet.
The olive oil group had a 30% lower risk of major cardiovascular events, such as stroke and heart disease, compared to people following a low-fat diet (40).
Olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, the type that helps raise “good” HDL and reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol.
It’s also a source of polyphenols, some of which can reduce inflammation that drives heart disease (41).
Summary Olive oil, a staple of the Mediterranean diet, provides monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants that strengthen your heart.
Increasing your intake of these foods will put you on the path to a balanced diet and keep your heart healthy.
You can practice methods like mindful eating to make sure you enjoy your food and don’t overindulge.
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Changing the foods you eat can lower your cholesterol and improve the fleet of fats floating in your blood. Adding foods that lower LDL, the dangerous cholesterol-carrying particle that contributes to atherosclerosis that clogs the arteries, is the best way to get a low-cholesterol diet.
Different foods lower cholesterol in different ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds to cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and pulls it out of the body before it enters the circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol.
1. Oats An easy first step to lowering your cholesterol is to have a bowl of oatmeal or an oat-based cold cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. This gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add banana or berry for half a gram. Current nutritional guidelines recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a
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