The first step to keep cardiovascular diseases at bay is to lower LDL cholesterol in the body. This type of cholesterol is essentially low-density lipoproteins that stick to the inner linings of the arteries and blood vessels and hamper the normal flow of blood to the heart. Over the period of time, increased LDL can lead to heart attacks or other serious ailments and can stop one from leading a normal life. Hence, if a person has been diagnosed with high cholesterol, one must make some lifestyle changes and food habits to reduce cholesterol levels.
5 foods that can reduce cholesterol levels
Barley, oats and other whole grains – These food items offer your soluble fiber, essential for bringing down cholesterol level. You can have oats with milk and fruits or dry fruits for breakfast. Or you can opt for oat-based cereals as well, as long as it is not sweetened. Soups can be prepared with barley and veggies for a wholesome yet light meal.
Beans – Be it kidney beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzos or lentils, beans are loaded with soluble fiber and can keep you feeling full for a long time. They can be cooked in various ways or added to salads as well. Plus, you won’t feel hungry often and hence be able to keep a check on the body weight too.
Vegetable oils – Give up butter, lard or shortening as they will only increase the LDL cholesterol level in your body. Choose sunflower or canola oil instead. You will feel lighter and more active too.
Fruits like citrus, strawberries, apples, and grapes – These fruits contain a lot of pectins, and can help in lowering LDL cholesterol effectively. Plus, they are delicious and can be made into smoothies and shakes.
Fatty fishes like Salmon or Tuna – These fishes are oily and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower LDL cholesterol. They also prevent abnormal heart rhythms and can be consumed instead of meat. Meat, after all, is loaded with saturated fats that increase the LDL cholesterol levels.
Besides improving your diet with the foods mentioned above, you should ideally take up exercising to keep cholesterol in check. Lowering or cutting off alcohol intake should be seriously considered. Also, consult your doctor before you start exercising or following a new diet.