Natural Foods that Lower Cholesterol

There are certain foods that lower cholesterol...and certain foods that don't!

Cholesterol and diet is one way of controlling your cholesterol level and should certainly be considered before you go down the drug therapy road.

The only exception here is that if your cholesterol has been found to be dangerously high your health care professional is likely to recommend drug therapy to bring down your level quickly.

Even so, you should still begin and maintain a low cholesterol diet and introduce some foods that lower cholesterol. A low cholesterol diet will include

  • foods that lower cholesterol in total
  • foods that don't contain cholesterol - or contain low amounts
  • foods that don't raise LDL levels
  • foods that don't reduce HDL levels
  • foods that don't raise Triglyceride levels
  • The nutrients that you put into your body by way of the food that you eat are directly responsible for the correct function of your body and therefore it follows that if you want to stay well and have your body operate optimally over your lifetime you will need to fill up with the right kind of fuel.

    This will enable your body to...

  • repair
  • regenerate and..
  • protect itself
  • as well as give you the energy you need to get through every day. If you are looking to lower cholesterol naturally then one way to approach this is to honestly examine your diet....then RRAA! Remove: Foods that are unhealthy for you and are adding to your daily cholesterol intake

    Reduce: Foods that are nutritious but contain cholesterol and saturated fat and don't eat them every day

    And...

    Add: Foods that are nutritious and contain no cholesterol or saturated fat and eat them every day Foods that lower cholesterol are common staples...but people simply aren't eating enough of them. Many people have also lost an appreciation for the taste and texture of these important foods, preferring highly processed saturated fat laden substitutes that for the most part humans have never previously eaten...ever...until now that is!

    To help maintain healthy blood cholesterol limits...

    Eat no more than 300mg of dietary cholesterol on a daily basis and include a selection of foods that lower cholesterol in your diet every day.

    The body makes its own cholesterol so limit the dietary cholesterol intake to control the total cholesterol level, LDL and Triglycerides in your blood.

    Although certain foods are known to be cholesterol lowering foods, also consider foods that raise your HDL level as this is thought to have a protective effect against the development of coronary heart disease.


    vegetables are foods that lower cholesterol Vegetables and legumes

    In combination with a sensible low-fat diet, vegetables and legumes can help to reduce your cholesterol level.

    Vegetables and legumes are some of the most commonly available foods that lower cholesterol and a diet rich in these foods can certainly help you.

    There are plenty of interesting ways to eat them....it doesn't have to be bland or taste awful.

    Of course you can eat these plant based foods that lower cholesterol with a modest portion of meat. Give fresh vegetables and legumes a starring role in your menu and let the meat play more of a bit part.

    Nuts are foods that lower cholesterol

    Nuts

    Some nuts seem to have a Cholesterol fighting ability. It is important that these nuts be raw - no added ingredients - not roasted or salted.

    Nuts taste fantastic in their natural state but if you are used to salty foods then you may have to 'ease your self in' so that you become accustomed to the different flavor. This shouldn't be difficult for you because you don't need to eat many nuts on a daily basis to get a beneficial health effect.

    You may have heard of the positive benefits regarding almonds and cholesterol. Almond skins are a rich source of a particular type of antioxidant that is thought to help combat LDL oxidation...

    So make sure you include raw...unblanched almonds in your raw nut mix.

    A small handful of mixed raw nuts mid morning and mid afternoon is a great way to deal with that "attack of the munchies" that can send you reaching for unhealthy snack choices.

    Try eating a few nuts. you'll be amazed at how well they can dampen down your appetite. Just make sure you stick to small daily quantities...a small handful per serve.

    Sterols

    Sterols are another set of compounds found in plant based foods that lower cholesterol.

    Plant sterols, stanols... or phytosterols as they are commonly referred to are actually essential components of plant cell membranes. The chemical structure of phytosterols is very similar to that of animal based cholesterol.

    The similarity of phytosterols to cholesterol is not a bad thing at all

    Sterols have been shown to lower your LDL cholesterol. This is likely achieved by blocking or competing with cholesterol absorption sites in your digestive tract. This process is thought to decrease the LDL cholesterol that you absorb from other food sources that you consume.

    Research has shown that high cholesterol levels can drop several percentage points by eating about 2grams of plant sterols per day.

    What plant foods contain sterols?

    Sterols are present naturally in ...

  • fruits
  • vegetables and legumes
  • nuts and seeds
  • cereals
  • rice
  • corn
  • vegetable oils such as olive oil.
  • Stanols also occur in the above named sources in lower quantities.

    Sterol fortified foods

    You may be aware that there are a number of products on the market that have had sterols added to them.some examples are some

    margarines and...fruit juices

    However, the recommendation is to stick with natural sources rather than commercially prepared foods.

    Commercially prepared foods so often contain artificially engineered ingredients that you really are better off without.

    Soluble Fiber

    Soluble fiber forms a paste or gel in the digestive tract. This can help to reduce dietary cholesterol absorption.

    Soluble fiber in your diet should be one of the very common foods that lower cholesterol that you eat every day

    Soluble fiber can help to lower your total cholesterol and your LDL cholesterol level. LDL cholesterol is sometimes referred to as bad cholesterol - in spite of that reputation it is still an important part of your blood chemistry - it's excessive amounts that are the issue.

    reducing your total cholesterol and LDL to acceptable levels reduces your risk of developing coronary heart disease.

    Soluble fiber also helps your body regulate blood sugar levels. This is very important for everybody - not just diabetics.

    Maintaining correct blood sugar levels is very important for your heart health and has implications in the development of coronary heart disease.

    Some common Food Sources of Soluble Fiber include...

  • Oats and Oat bran
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Nuts
  • Barley
  • Flax seed
  • Fruits such as oranges and apples
  • Vegetables such as carrots
  • This list is a good example of the available variety of foods that lower cholesterol. Just choosing one thing off this list is likely not going to be sufficient to help you. Why not try to incorporate them all into your diet on a regular basis.

    Oats

    It is quite commonly known that oatmeal and cholesterol can benefit cholesterol levels.

    research has shown that 3 ounces or 85 grams / day can reduce total cholesterol several percentage points in some people and also can have a beneficial effect on Blood pressure.

    Calcium

    Research has shown that the consumption of calcium can positively benefit your cholesterol levels.

    In a study published in the American Journal of Medicine where women were given calcium supplements over a twelve month period, the results showed On average that women who took calcium (Calcium citrate) increased their HDL cholesterol levels around 7%.

    Remember, HDL cholesterol is known as good cholesterol, so an increase in this level is actually beneficial.

    Eggs and cholesterol

    Can eggs be part of a low cholesterol diet?

    Yes....it's all about moderation.

    Eggs have struggled with their reputation due mainly to a poor showing in some older research. They can't be classed as foods that lower cholesterol as egg yolks do contain fairly high levels... but the egg whites contain none.

    It is recommended that no more than 300mg of cholesterol should come from your food on a daily basis and egg yolks contain about 210mg.

    However, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that by themselves eggs don't appear to contribute to high cholesterol levels. It's what they are consumed with that seems to be a problem.

    The current recommendation is that it's ok to eat one egg a day. If you do this, consider the other aspects of your diet and what might be contributing to your total cholesterol from your food.


    Wine to help lower your cholesterol

    Wine

    Low to moderate amounts of red wine - approximately 5 drinks per week can cut the risk associated with a low HDL level possibly by blocking cholesterol oxidation via the action of an anti oxidant found in grapes called resveratrol.

    Another group of chemicals in red wine that is linked to the ability to lower cholesterol are Called saponins.

    Saponins are believed to come from the waxy skin of grapes. Red wine contains significantly higher saponin levels than white.

    It is thought that saponins work by binding to cholesterol in your digestive tract and preventing its absorption.

    Besides wine, other foods containing significant amounts of saponins include...

  • olive oil
  • soybeans
  • Grape juice
  • Remember that you can drink a lot more grape juice than you can wine.....no intoxication effects. I recommend you source a no preservative... no sugar added... dark red grape juice and consume it daily.

    Soybeans and Soy foods

    Soy contains compounds that may help to lower total cholesterol.

    Research has shown that if you replace some animal protein source with soy based protein - this can help

  • Lower TC - total cholesterol
  • Lower LDL
  • Raise HDL
  • Over a period of weeks or months.

    Phytoestrogens:

    Soy based foods contain phytoestrogens which may help transport LDL to the liver for excretion or recycling. Phytoestrogens may also help reduce the oxidation of LDL in the blood stream.

    Phytoestrogens are beneficial for both men and women.


    Fish to lower triglyceride levels

    Omega 3 fatty acids

    Omega 3's have been shown to lower triglycerides - quite significantly as recorded in a study done at university of Perth Western Australia.

    Omega 3's may also raise HDL.

    If fish is regularly added to a low saturated fat diet it will help to lower triglycerides and increase your HDL.

    If cooked the right way, fish is low in calories and saturated fat - it's great for a heart healthy diet.

    Fats

    Many people don't think of fat as being a food..but rather a substance that is found in food. Fat though definitely is a food and as long as it's the right kind of fat..can be one of those foods that lower cholesterol...but yes, it can also increase it too.

    Saturated fat:

    Has a big effect on blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fat is found predominantly in..

  • meats
  • dairy products like butter and cheese
  • Saturated fat increases your LDL blood cholesterol levels.

    Monounsaturated fat:

    Monounsaturated fats are found in plant foods such as...

  • Avocado's
  • Olive oil
  • Monounsaturated fats lower your LDL while leaving your HDL untouched.

    For the benefit of your health, eat moderate amounts of monounsaturated fats daily and reduce your intake of saturated fats so that you are actually replacing much of your saturated fat intake with monounsaturated fats.

    Consume moderate amounts of fat only and keep you total fat intake within recommended guidelines as per the American Heart Association.

    Your total daily fat intake can exceed slightly the recommended amount if you are following the principles of a Mediterranean diet. When you know what to look for, foods that lower cholesterol are abundant and well known. If you identify foods that you eat regularly that you know will not be helping you maintain a healthy cholesterol level then don't forget to RRAA!

    Return from Foods that Lower Cholesterol to Coronary Heart Health Home Page

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