10 foods that may help lower cholesterol
Keeping up with the good cholesterol in the body is the aim of many while they plan their diet and routine. However, people don’t usually have the proper knowledge of what kind of diet they should follow and what to add to their meals to manage the healthy level of cholesterol.
We all know that cholesterol is the biggest enemy of the healthy human heart. Hence, one time or another, everyone has made plans to manage their diet accordingly. Controlling cholesterol is majorly the goal of middle and old-aged people.
But, it doesn’t mean an adult can’t follow a diet plan. To make a clear and vivid plan, Harvard health experts have extended their help for you to beat LDL, lipids, triglycerides and save your heart by suggesting ten foods that one should add to their meal to serve the purpose.
People usually take cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., for breakfast. But the post by Harvard Medical School suggests that people should replace their usual fruit-based breakfast with a bowl of oatmeal or an oat-based cereal like Cheerios.
Oats provide you with around 3 grams of soluble dietary fiber, which, as per the research, helps is slowing down the digestion process. As a result, a person has increase satiety, and their appetite is suppressed. In other words, people don’t feel hungry that often and easily. As per the current guidelines, you should ideally consume 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day, out of which at least 5 to 10 grams should be obtained from soluble fiber.
For good digestion and suppressed appetite, beans are a must-have for your diet plan. Beans are rich in soluble fiber, which takes longer to digest. Hence, it helps keep your hunger at bay for a while, which contributes positively to your weight loss plans. Besides, unlike oats, you will not get easily bored with this particular item as there are different kinds of beans that you can try, such as kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, etc.
3. Barley and Other such Whole grains
Apart from Oats, you can also add other whole grain ingredients to your diet, such as Barley, which is the best fiber source among all kinds of whole grains. With the help of soluble fiber delivered by Barley and whole grains, one can lower the risk of them suffering from heart-related problems and diseases. A single cup of pearled Barley consists of 6 grams of fiber and contributes only 193 calories if we talk in numbers.
4. Vegetables such as Okra and Eggplant
Eggplant and Okra, better known as Brinjal and Ladyfinger, respectively, are the best sources of low-calorie vegetables with good soluble fiber. Other than that, to fulfill the need for soluble fiber with less calorie intake, one can also add other vegetables to their diets, such as sweet potato, aubergine, broccoli, and prunes.
Managing cholesterol is majorly about keeping the count of saturated and unsaturated fat being consumed by a person. It is quite apparent that you should avoid saturated fats, for which nuts are the best options.
The Harvard report suggests that 2 ounces of nuts in a day can help in keeping the cholesterol check as nuts are rich in unsaturated fat and have lower saturated fat. As per some studies, nuts have been proven to be helpful in blocking cholesterol consumption in the bloodstream from the gut. 2 ounces of nuts a day can lower the LDL by 5 percent.
Add fruits rich in pectin (a soluble fiber) such as apples, grapes, strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, avocados, papaya, etc., which will help in lowering the LDL.
7. Vegetable Oil
The most important ingredient while cooking is oil. It would be a wise decision to say goodbye to the oil or butter you are using and replace it with Vegetable Oil. For example, Canola Oil is healthy for your heart as it contains “good fat” and has no cholesterol. As recommended by Harvard medical experts, you may use liquid vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, safflower, which will positively help you keep LDL down.
Consuming soybeans and other food extracted from soybeans, such as soy milk or tofu, is considered to be one of the most efficient ways to keep your cholesterol in control. However, the medical studies may suggest that soy does not play a significant role in lowering your cholesterol, but they certainly agree with the LDL lowering tendency of the ingredient. Hence, it is suggested to replace soy and soy-made products with animal-based diets.
9. Fatty Fish
The Harvard medical experts provide that omega-3 fats have the strongest evidence of being helpful against heart diseases. Therefore, including Omega-3 fat-rich food can help you prevent and deal with heart-related is issues. Fatty fish are a great source of the said ingredient, which contributes to lowering the blood pressure and heart rate, and it also improves blood vessel function in the human body.
10. Fiber Supplements
Other than the abovementioned sources and ingredients for a healthy heart, you can also go for fiber supplements. As per the Harvard Health Publishing Report, supplements are a great way of fulfilling soluble fiber needs for the human body. Two teaspoons of psyllium in a day offers 4 grams of soluble fiber. If you find it difficult to add natural sources, you can add fiber supplements to your diet.
Medical Disclaimer: The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. Patients and consumers should review the information carefully with their professional health care provider. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. You should consult your physician before beginning a new diet, nutritional or fitness program.