Cholesterol is an essential substance that the body produces but which people also consume in foods. Cholesterol is both good and bad. At normal levels, it is an essential substance for the body. However, if concentrations in the blood get too high, it becomes a silent danger that puts people at risk of heart attack.
Right Diets and Cholesterol Levels
Do you know that maintaining the right diet can play a significant role in lowering your cholesterol levels? Just in case your answer was No, there are indeed certain types of food that are not only great for your heart but also aid in reducing cholesterol naturally.
Here is a list of 5 out of the numerous types of food that can help lower your cholesterol. Do well to embrace and adopt them into your diet moving forward.
- Legumes: Legumes naturally are low in fats and do not contain any cholesterol. In addition to this, legumes have very high fiber content and protective nutrients both of which help protect the heart and lower cholesterol respectively.
The South African Food Based Dietary recommends that individuals should eat legumes as often as possible. Examples of legumes include beans, peas, lentils, peanuts etc.
- Olive Oil: In place of other fats, try using olive oil as they have high monounsaturated fatty acids content and vitamin E. Evidence from research has shown that food rich in monounsaturated fatty acid lowers bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) (LDL) and increases good cholesterol (High density lipoprotein) (HDL).
- Fruits and Vegetables: Nearly all fruits and vegetables, especially fruits rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene content, aid in lowering cholesterol levels and also protect the human heart. Some examples of fruits that have high levels of vitamin C content include oranges, grapes, guava, cabbages etc. While fruits such as mango and vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots) make up examples of some of the fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene.
- Fish: Research shows that eating fish three or more times weekly reduces the risk of developing certain types of diseases such as heart diseases and high blood pressure. Attributable to this is the rich level of omega 3 fatty acid content in fishes which are known to reduce blood fats, atherosclerosis, blood pressure etc.. Examples of fish rich in omega 3 fatty acid include; samon, tunas, sardines, etc.
- Fiber: Food rich in soluble fiber have been shown to reduce bad cholesterols. It also reduces the absorption of cholesterols into the blood stream. Having food such as oat meals which are rich in soluble fiber content would significantly help lower bad cholesterol.
Although not exhaustive, the above are few foods that can help you kick-start the journey of maintaining a healthy diet. A healthy diet containing some of the food types as listed above would help reduce exposure to heart risks and cholesterol.
References: Medical News Today, South African Food Based Dietary