Foods to Lower Bad Cholesterol   



Foods to Lower Bad Cholesterol

 
Five important foods that help lower your bad cholesterol levels.
During a recent breakfast, my grandmother exclaimed loudly as I was about to dish the sunny-side-up egg into my mouth, "You don't eat so much cholesterol. They are bad for you! You want to get heart attack, is it?"

What Grandma said was partially correct, because there is bad cholesterol, known as low density lipoprotein (LDL), and good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL). If you have too much of the bad guy, it could kill you. LDL forms a thick, hard deposit known as plaque on your blood vessel walls. This ultimately blocks your blood vessels and could lead to a stroke or heart attack.

What are the foods that can help lower bad cholesterol? Here are five important ones you should be eating:

Oatmeal
I personally love oatmeal. Look up any list of foods that help lower cholesterol and oatmeal is always the first choice. The reason is that oats are high in fibre, which helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol, bind bile and dietary cholesterol, and remove these elements from the body. Oats also have components known as beta-gulcans, which help lower cholesterol levels.

Nuts
Raw nuts are healthier than the canned variety.
Even though I eat assorted nuts, walnuts are my top choice. Studies have shown that walnuts help reduce blood cholesterol and keep blood vessels elastic and strong. Almonds also give similar benefits. In 2003, the US FDA allowed a qualified health claim on nuts - it said that if we eat 1.5 ounces (42.8g) of nuts daily, we can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Flaxseed
Need I say more? Flaxseed oil contains a substance known as alpha linolenic acid - an omega-3 fatty acid. As our bodies do not produce omega-3, it is important to include it in our diet. Recent studies have revealed that flaxseed oil helps reduce cholesterol levels. Subjects with extremely high cholesterol were given ground flaxseed for six weeks and they had their bad cholesterol (LDL) level fall by 14.7%. Buy only refrigerated flaxseed oil as it is quite unstable. If you want to include flaxseeds in your baking, be sure to crush them first. Whole flaxseeds are not digestible.

Beans
One of the favourite beans among health enthusiasts is soybean. Scientists, in an analysis of 38 clinical, peer-reviewed studies on the relationship between soybean and cholesterol, concluded that those who regularly eat soy protein have a lower risk of heart disease as soybean lowers bad cholesterol in the blood.

Fresh vegetables and fruits
Eating plenty of vegetables, especially organic ones, will give you tremendous health benefits. In a study conducted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Family Heart Study of the United States, the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) of 4,466 subjects were lowered after they consumed just over three servings of vegetables. Those who consumed more than four servings showed the best results. The soluble fibre in vegetable and fruits helps prevent the absorption of bad cholesterol into the body. The average intake of fibre should be in the region of 20-35g per day
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Happy reading,
Evelyn


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