Cholesterol is actually a kind of fat found in your blood. It is an essential substance for your body to build cells, but too much cholesterol may lead to problems.
The cholesterol in your body comes from two ways. One is your own body, and another is the food you eat. If your cholesterol level is too high, you may be more likely to have heart disease and stroke. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, don’t worry too much, mind your diet can help lower your cholesterol level to normal.
It’s necessary for you to check your food list and reduce the intake of high cholesterol foods, such as egg yolk, butter, cheese, ice cream and fast foods. Besides, you need to eat more foods that help lower cholesterol level. In this way, you can control your cholesterol level and keep fit. Here are foods that can lower cholesterol level:
Flaxseed, beans, vegetables and fruits – High Fiber
Fiber helps to reduce your LDL level by cutting the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. You can choose from:
- various kinds of beans.
- vegetables, such as eggplant and okra.
- fruits, such as apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits.
Fatty fish and fish oils – omega-3 fatty acid
For one thing, eating certain types of fish two or three times a week may lower your LDL level. That’s because omega-3 fatty acids in these fish can reduce your blood pressure. Your risk of getting blood clots will also be lowered. You can choose from:
- lake trout.
- albacore tuna.
Walnuts, almonds and other nuts – mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids
Mono-and polyunsaturated fatty acids in nuts are helpful in keeping the blood vessels healthy. However, you need to mind your intake. Eating about a handful (1.5 ounces, or 42.5 grams) a day of most nuts will reduce your risk of heart disease accordingly. These include:
- some pine nuts
- pistachio nuts
However, make sure the nuts you eat aren’t salted or coated with sugar. These nuts are already high in calories, so a handful will do. Otherwise, you may get overweight.
Avocado – monounsaturated fat
Similarly, avocadoes are healthy fruits full of nutrients. Meanwhile, they are also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. It is found that eating an avocado a day will probably help improve LDL levels in people who are obese.
Foods with added phytosterols (plant sterols)
Phytosterols are substances in plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol. On the whole, some margarines, orange juice and yogurt drinks come with added plant sterols can contribute to lowering cholesterol of LDL by 5 to 15 percent.
Plant-based cooking oil — omega-3 or phytosterols
Plant-based cooking oils contain either a high amount of omega-3 or phytosterols. If you switch to the following liquid vegetable oils made of these plant seeds, your LDL cholesterol will be lowered:
While adding the above foods into your diet, you should be aware of the calories they contain. Another fact you may want to look at is whether they are harmful to other medical problems you have.
In addition to your diet, keeping exercise is also an important way to maintain a normal cholesterol level. If you are unsure, ask your doctor before trying any of these foods.