Today’s typical on-the-go lifestyle can make it hard to find the time to eat a balanced and healthy meal. Many people resort to grabbing fast food — a major cause of today’s tendency toward excessively high cholesterol levels. Eating less food that is high in saturated fat and more of these healthy foods can help you lower your cholesterol levels.
Almonds, walnuts, pistachio and many other nuts are rich in beneficial nutrients like protein and unsaturated fatty acids. These nuts aid in keeping your blood vessels healthy and will help lower your levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol. Since nuts can be somewhat high in calories, try to limit your intake to no more than a handful daily.
This may not seem like much, but nuts are quite filling and will satisfy you more than a burger and fries from a fast food joint.
Oat products like oatmeal or oat bran contain high levels of soluble fiber, which also aids in lowering bad cholesterol. Fiber can help prevent cholesterol from entering the bloodstream; by eating up 10 grams of fiber each day, you could lower your LDL cholesterol by five percent.
Salmon, halibut and similar types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce your blood pressure and aid in preventing heart attacks. Eating at least two servings of fish each week can aid in significantly lowering your LDL cholesterol. If you are not particularly fond of fish, try taking a fish oil supplement so that you can still reap the benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids fish contains.
#4: Olive Oil
Olive oil is a great way to flavoring for your foods that will not add excessive bad cholesterol like many other flavorings. Full of antioxidants, olive oil can aid in lowering your LDL cholesterol and boosting your heart health. Try using olive oil as a salad dressing or in marinades for your favorite meats.
#5: Dark Chocolate
There is no need to say no to your sweet tooth if you are satisfying it with dark chocolate — at least in moderation. Dark chocolate is full of the antioxidants that help lower bad cholesterol levels. Up to one ounce per day can be both delicious and beneficial to your health.
#6: Orange Juice
A glass of orange juice is a delicious way to start your day. Additionally, because of its plant-based sterols, it can help lower your LDL cholesterol by as much as 10 percent.
Green, pinto and other types of beans are packed with soluble fiber that will help lower LDL cholesterol. Mixing these beans into your favorite soups or salads can create an easy, satisfying and heart-healthy meal.
Blueberries are beneficial for many different reasons. Not only will they lower LDL cholesterol, but they can also aid in cleaning out your arteries, improve in liver function and may even boost your metabolism.
Even though garlic might give you bad breath, it has been known to minimize the risk of blood clots and to aid in lowering LDL cholesterol. You can use garlic to season your meats and vegetables for added flavor and heart benefits.
Eating cinnamon is another tasty way to lower LDL cholesterol. Adding only a half a teaspoon of cinnamon to your daily diet can significantly lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
[box type=”note”]Although many different foods can aid in lowering cholesterol levels, these ten are tasty and easy additions to any diet. If you eat them consistently, you will be on your way to a heart-healthy lifestyle in no time.[/box]
- MayoClinic: Cholesterol: Top 5 Foods to Lower Your Numbers
- DietMotion: Top 10 Foods to Lower Cholesterol
- RealAge: Top 10 Foods for Lowering Cholesterol
- ArthritisToday: 10 Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol
Guest post contributed by Rebecca Chang, on behalf ofÂ National Hearing Care. Rebecca is a freelance writer and enjoys writing about health and wellness topics.