How To Lower Blood Sugar And Cholesterol – High levels of cholesterol — especially the “bad” LDL — are associated with an increased risk of heart disease (
Legumes are rich 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 studies found that eating 1/2 cup (100 grams) of legumes per day was effective in lowering LDL cholesterol by an average of 6.6 mg/dL, compared to not eating legumes (
Summary: Legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils can help lower levels of “bad” LDL and are a good source of plant-based protein.
They’re a rich source of monounsaturated fat and fiber — two nutrients that help lower “bad” LDL and raise “good” HDL cholesterol.
In one study, overweight and obese adults with high LDL cholesterol who ate an avocado daily lowered their LDL levels more than those who did not eat an avocado (
A review of 10 studies found that replacing avocados with other fats lowered total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides (7).
They contain a very high percentage of monounsaturated fats. Walnuts are also rich in a variety of 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 preventing absorption in the intestine.
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 nuts per day lowered bad LDL cholesterol by an average of 10.2 mg/dL (
Eating nuts daily is associated with a 28% lower risk of fatal and non-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 in adults, those who ate non-fried fish were less likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms that includes high blood pressure and lower levels of “good” HDL.
In another large study of older adults, those who ate tuna or other baked or grilled fish at least once a week had a 27% lower risk of stroke (
Note that the healthiest ways to cook fish are steamed or grilled. In fact, fried fish may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke (
Fish is a major part of the Mediterranean diet, which has been widely researched for its heart-healthy benefits (
Some of the heart-protective benefits of fish may also come from certain peptides in fish protein (
Summary: Fatty fish provides high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
In fact, a review of 45 studies linked eating three servings per day to a 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke. The benefits were greatest when people ate more servings of whole grains per day (up to seven) (
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, which is a soluble fiber that is highly effective in reducing bad LDL cholesterol.
It does this by encouraging your body to get rid of cholesterol and by preventing your liver from producing this compound.
A 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 help prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Eating berries and grapes, two particularly rich sources of these plant compounds, can help increase “good” HDL and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol (22).
Summary: The fruit can help lower cholesterol and improve heart health. This is largely due to its fiber and antioxidants.
It may sound too good to be true, but studies confirm that dark chocolate and cocoa can lower bad LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
They had a decrease in 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 appear to protect against oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol in the blood, a major cause of heart disease (
Therefore, you should only use cocoa or choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 75-85% or higher.
Summary: The flavonoids in dark chocolate and cocoa may help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol while raising “good” HDL cholesterol.
Research shows that garlic lowers blood pressure in people with elevated levels and may help lower total and LDL cholesterol, although the latter effect is less potent (27, 27).
Since relatively large amounts of garlic are required to achieve this cardioprotective effect, many studies have used geriatric supplements, which have been shown to be more effective than other garlic preparations.
Summary: Allicin and other plant compounds in garlic may help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce risk factors for heart disease.
A review of 35 studies linked soy foods with lower levels of “bad” LDL and total cholesterol, as well as increases in “good” HDL (good) cholesterol (
Summary: There is some evidence that soy foods reduce risk factors for heart disease, especially in people with high cholesterol.
They are high in fiber and antioxidants and low in calories, which is essential for maintaining a healthy weight.
Some vegetables are very high in pectin, the same cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber found in apples and oranges (
Vegetables provide several plant compounds that provide several health benefits, including protection against heart disease.
While green tea gets a lot of attention, black tea and white tea have similar health properties and effects.
While most studies link tea with lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, research is mixed regarding its effects on “good” HDL cholesterol and blood pressure (35).
Dark leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, contain lutein and other carotenoids, which reduce the risk of heart disease (
Carotenoids act as antioxidants to scavenge harmful free radicals that can harden the arteries (
Dark leafy greens can help lower cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids and causing the body to make more cholesterol (
One study suggested that lutein lowers levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol and may help prevent cholesterol from attaching to artery walls (
Summary: Dark, leafy greens are rich in carotenoids, including lutein, which are 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) of extra virgin olive oil per day along with a Mediterranean diet.
The olive oil group had a 30% lower risk of major heart conditions, such as stroke and heart attack, than people on a low-fat diet (40).
Olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help raise “good” HDL and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.
It’s 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-boosting monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants.
Eating these foods will put you on the path to a balanced diet and keep your heart healthy.
You can also practice techniques such as mindful eating to ensure that you are enjoying your meal and not overeating.
Our experts constantly monitor the health and wellness field, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. If you have diabetes, you know how difficult it can be to manage your diet and control your blood sugar levels. Some foods cause spikes while others lower blood sugar, but many people go through years of trial and error before they find what works for them. Fortunately, thanks to years of scientific discovery, we have been able to identify which foods are better than others. In this article, we will look at the top 10 foods to control diabetes and lower blood sugar.
To get the most out of your food, consider diabetic meal planning. Planning and preparing meals in advance will reduce the chances of snacking or unhealthy eating and help you save time and energy throughout the week.
If you are looking for something sweet, try a strawberry cup. Strawberries are full of antioxidants and have been shown to lower post-meal cholesterol and insulin levels.
If you are not a fan of strawberries and want to include fresh fruit in your daily diet, choose raspberries, blueberries or blackberries, which have less sugar than other fruits such as apples and bananas.
Diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t eat your favorite foods, but you do need to monitor your blood glucose levels to stay safe. By including these 10 foods in your daily diet, you will be giving your body the nutrition it needs.
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