Whether you are concerned about your already high cholesterol or just looking for a way to keep your cholesterol from getting high, a few changes in diet can help you reduce your risk. Here is a look at some of the foods that you should keep on hand that will help you control your cholesterol.
Keep in mind that there are two ways that cholesterol gets in your body – that produced by your liver and the cholesterol that you get from the foods that you eat. Since you cannot control your liver, that leaves your diet as one of the things that you can control. Otherwise, your higher levels of cholesterol, particularly your LDL cholesterol, can lead to heart problems and other risks.
There are plenty of foods that are high in LDL cholesterol, particularly animal products like meat and dairy. What you might not be aware of is that there are also foods that can help you lower your LDL cholesterol and your increase your good, HDL, cholesterol. Here is a look at some of the common foods that can help you manage your cholesterol levels at home.
– Apples – Finally, there is some proof that an apple can help you keep the doctor away. Apples help lower your LDL cholesterol levels. Try eating two fresh apples a day, or if you prefer, drinking a cup and a half of apple juice. You could see your heart disease risk decline by as much as 50%.
– Garlic – This ingredient is found in many “heart-healthy” vitamins, and is also a popular culinary seasoning. Garlic can help you to thin your blood and lower your LDL cholesterol. This in turn helps prevent your arteries from becoming clogged, lowering your risk of heart attack and stroke.
– Onions – If you happen to like this potent vegetable, you may be pleased to hear that half of a raw onion will help raise the levels of HDL cholesterol – the good cholesterol – by 25% while at the same time lowering your LDL cholesterol levels.
– Legumes and Beans – Besides being a good non-animal source of protein, beans and legumes also contain a high amount of soluble fiber. This fiber helps you to lower your LDL cholesterol and raise your HDL cholesterol. All types of beans and legumes will work for this purpose and help strengthen your heart.
– Unsaturated fats – While many foods that are high in saturated fat are also high in cholesterol, some fats are necessary for your body to function properly. Unsaturated fats contain ingredients like omega 3 fatty acids that can actually improve heart health. Consider swapping out your cooking oils for olive, canola, peanut, or almond oil. Corn, soybean, and sunflower oil are also good for you. All of these oils help to lower your LDL levels while increasing your HDL levels.
– Other – some other foods that are good for lowering your LDL cholesterol levels include: oats, artichokes, green tea, nuts and black tea.
Your doctor will be able to advise you on specific dietary requirements you should be following, as well as any other changes that may need to be made to your lifestyle in order to reduce your risk.