There are several foods that help lower high cholesterol. A diet consisting of these food items help a person lower blood cholesterol naturally without any side effects. Apart from eating these foods that help to lower cholesterol, it is also necessary to make lifestyle changes and exercise.

Following are some of the foods that should be included in a diet. These foods are not just tasty, but also healthy and have been the subject of intensive research during recent times.

  • Oatmeal and oat bran: Oatmeal contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Besides oatmeal, brussels sprouts,  kidney beans, fruit and flaxseed are just a few examples of foods that contain fiber. Soluble and insoluble fiber helps to reduce the rate at which carbohydrates are converted into glucose and improve the functioning of the intestinal tract.

    * Plant stanols and sterols: Recent studies have shown that intake of food items such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains and nuts assist in reducing the absorption of dietary cholesterol and lowering of LDL cholesterol.

    * Fish: A recent study has proved that fatty fish such as mackerel, herring and salmon are high in  omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Omega 3 fatty acids are effective in reducing triglycerides and build up of arterial plaque.  The American Heart Association also recommends eating fatty fish at least two times a week in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease CVD.
     
    * Soy protein: Soy protein foods such as soybeans, tofu and soy milk are also very effective in reducing your total cholesterol and bad cholesterol (LDL). You can use these types of foods to replace foods that are rich in saturated fats.

    These foods not only help to reduce cholesterol, they are tasty as well as nutritious. It is  not always necessary that something that is good for you, need not taste well. 

 FOODS THAT BOOST HDL – THE GOOD CHOLESTEROL

 You might not have fully thought about it all this while but eating the right type of food can also increase the level of HDL, the good cholesterol, in your blood. All you need to do is to eliminate a few things while munching the rest in a usual manner. But most of all, do eat the following:

Nuts: Quite surprisingly this, and other food groups, would be made up of a lot of fats. However, this fat would be either monosaturated fat or polyunsaturated fat. Both of them are good for health. Nuts are an example of the two. They are full of monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats. This type of fat is quite healthy in nature and can help increase the level of HDL-Cholesterol in the blood.

Fish: Fishes are an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids, another type of healthy fat which helps increase the level of HDL-Cholesterol in the body. Most fishes can be consumed to increase HDL levels in the blood. However, stay away from the real fatty ones.

Olives: Olives are excellent source of monosaturated fats, fats which are easier to breakdown and which, like others, increase the level of HDL Cholesterol in the blood. Olives can be consumed either in the fruit form or in the form of olive oil.

Monosaturated Oils: Oils such as Canola oil are good source of monosaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Hence, they are good for improvement of HDL-Cholesterol levels in the blood.

Foods rich in Vitamin B: Vitamin B has been considered to be highly effective in increasing the level of HDL-Cholesterol in the blood. Though it is easily available in drugstores (without prescription) it is best to have it in the natural form, extracted by our body from Vitamin B rich foods. This would also lay to rest any possibilities of an overdose of Vitamin B, which usually is the case when it is taken in the pill form.

Alcohol: In a way, alcohol can be treated as a food as well, albeit a modified type of food. A 12 ounce serving of beer or 5 ounce of wine, when taken on a regular basis, can help improve the level of HDL-Cholesterol in the blood. However, do not exceed this limit or take it as a way to legitimize alcohol consumption. Drink but do not binge.

Lean Meat: Lean meat can also help you improve the level of HDL Cholesterol in your blood.

SOME FOODS YOU HAVE TO AVOIDE TO

Red Meat: Red meat is considered a harbinger of bad cholesterol. Hence, avoid it at all costs.

Eggs: If you love an omelette or fried eggs, then know that you are inviting trouble. Egg yolk contains a lot of cholesterol, which means trouble in the long run.

Cheese: Cheese is something which you should stay away from as it contains a lot of cholesterol. A higher amount of cholesterol in the blood would result in lowering down of HDL-Cholesterol. Hence, avoid it.

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