If you want to maintain a healthier diet, high cholesterol is something that you definitely want to avoid. A high cholesterol level will expose you to increased risks of many serious diseases, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Here, let’s take a look at the foods that can maintain your cholesterol level at a healthy level.
Broccoli is the first vegetable on this list. It contains fiber, which will lower the cholesterol levels in your body by slowing the passage of the food through the digestive tract. Broccoli is also easy to cook. Just steam it and give it a sprinkle of black pepper, then you will get a delicious side dish.
You must have been told by your doctor, or at least some of your friends that avocados are good for your health and you may have been wondering “Why?”. Well, here is one of the reasons. Avocados are full of monounsaturated fats, which can help decrease bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol. After mashing them into guacamole, you can easily chop it on salad, or add slices to a sandwich, or simply spread on whole-grain crackers.
3. Dark Chocolate
Although children are taught “not to have too much chocolate, cocoa has been proven to lower the LDL cholesterol levels in your body and it is the main ingredient in dark chocolate. However, you need to check the label to make sure that it contains at least 70% cocoa and do not take in more than 1 ounce per day.
Soy or soybeans also has the ability to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides without lowering HDL cholesterol. There are various different types of soybean products, which include tofu, Nutella, soy nuts and soy milk. In addition, soybeans can also help improve your metabolism and protect your heart, as well as reduce the effects of menopause and promote bone health.
5. Olive Oil
Just like avocados, olive oil is full of monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help lower your cholesterol. In addition, olive oil also contains a large number of phenolics, a substance that can make your blood less likely to clot. As a result, it is also good for high blood pressure. From now on, try to have 2-3 tablespoons every day.
6. Whole-grain Cereal
Breakfast is often considered the most important meal of the day. If you want to have a healthier breakfast, maybe try some whole-grain cereal. Whole-grain cereals are rich in fiber, which will enable you to lower your cholesterol level. Another key advantage is that it is really easy to prepare. All you need is to put some whole-grain cereal in milk and you will end up with a healthy and delicious breakfast.
There are many studies that show eating nuts regularly can help lower cholesterol. They also contain other nutrients that can protect the heart in other ways. However, don’t consume too many nuts every day, as studies also show that taking in around 60 grams, or 2.1 ounces of nuts daily yields the biggest benefit.
In addition to whole-grain cereal, oats are another healthy dish for breakfast. Oatmeal is often considered as the best source of soluble fiber, and can form a gel to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream. Only one and a quarter cups of cooked oatmeal will give you 5 grams of soluble fiber per day, which can really help reduce your cholesterol.
9. Wild Blueberries
Wild blueberries are another great source of fiber. If you can take in one cup of frozen wild blueberries, it will offer around 6 grams of fiber, which is about a quarter of your recommended daily intake. Researchers have shown that berries can also support liver function, which will help you seep the cholesterol out of your body. So let’s start to enjoy blueberries no matter whether they are fresh, frozen or freeze-dried.
Plums are another fruit that can help reduce your cholesterol. It contains anthocyanins, or antioxidants, which can help lower your blood pressure as well as your cholesterol. In return, you will have a lower risk of heart attack. As shown by research, three or more servings of anthocyanin-rich fruit each week will push you 34% away from a heart attack.
When you are traveling to tropical paradises like Boracay, Seban or the Maldives, trying to have coconut as much as you can be one of the top things on your to-do list. However, did you know coconut is also good for your health? Research has shown that coconut can also lower your cholesterol.
12. Red Onion
Red onions contain anthoxanthins, which can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, even if it will make you shed tears while cutting it into pieces. From now on, please do not skip on the onion in your Subway vegetable selection.
Many of you already know that chickpeas contain a lot of protein, but how many of you know that it can also lower your cholesterol? Studies have shown that eating pulses like lentils and dried peas can significantly lower LDL cholesterol level by around 5%! One of the most delicious pulses is indeed chickpeas.
According to Harvard Medical School, eggplant is full of soluble fiber which will consume the bile acid in your body and prompt a reduction in the cholesterol in your liver. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as stabilize your blood sugar. Just bake it in your oven and you will end up with a very healthy and delicious side dish.
Pomegranate can help reduce cholesterol by slowing its buildup and the effect is the same no matter what form pomegranate is in. If you hate the seeds, you can turn your pomegranate into juice and you will also enjoy its magical cholesterol-reducing power.
16. Tart Cherries
Almost everyone loves cherries. They are delicious and also healthy. Cherries are rich in fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels. It can also reduce the risk of heart attack, as it contains anthocyanin. Its high polyphenol level also helps you reduce blood pressure. What a magical fruit!
Kamut, also known as Khorasan wheat is a grain that can decrease your cholesterol significantly. An Italian researcher has shown that if people regularly eat Kamut they will almost certainly find that their cholesterol levels have started to decrease. The only question is: how do you cook it? Well, just treat it as you do brown rice or quinoa, and simply roast or steam it. Trust me, it is delicious either way!
Garlic is a great seasoning for almost all kinds of food. You can use it on stir-fries, grilled asparagus, chicken wings and even to give your olive oil more flavor. Research has also shown that garlic can reduce cholesterol levels. Now you have one more reason to love garlic!
19. White Beans
White beans are just like chickpeas. 100-gram white beans are only 0.7-gram fat, but have 6-gram protein. It also helps reduce your cholesterol level in your body and provide a stable source for Vitamin-C. Now, put it as one of your pizza toppings or simply roast it and you will have a lower cholesterol level in your body.
20. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are full of fiber, which can soak up cholesterol in the body. In addition, the insoluble fiber can also help sweep the intestines clean. A serving of one-ounce chia seeds only contains 137 calories but has 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. It also contains a high level of omega-3 fatty acids, even higher than salmon.