What is HDL and LDL? In layman terms they are known as good cholesterol and bad cholesterol respectively. If your doctor told you to improve or decrease your cholesterol levels with the help of a well-planned diet, it’s time you learn more about those foods that contribute to your healthy heart.
In other words, the food you eat plays a potent role in elevating your cholesterol and wise choice of foods at the same time helps in lowering cholesterol.
Food provides diverse nutrients like fibre and healthy fats that for lowering cholesterol. Soluble fibre binds cholesterol and its precursor in the intestine and thwarts off fats out of the body before they get into the blood circulation. There are some plant sterols and stanols which also block the body from absorbing cholesterol.
5 Superfoods To Improve Cholesterol Profile
A bowl of oatmeal is indeed a superfood that can be effective in improving good cholesterol. Steel-cut oats are the less processed ones giving you a heap full of soluble fibre, among all the whole grains. Evidence suggests that about 5-10 grams of soluble fibre can lower the total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Enjoy your healthy oats cereals topping with some sliced bananas or strawberry to add more soluble fibre.
The current recommendation says to have about 20-30 grams of fibre in a day, with at least 5-10 grams coming from soluble fibre.
It is time to overboard with your diet regimen by adding a good amount of legumes right from chickpeas, kidney bean, soybean, peas, etc., all of these are super rich in soluble fibre. The soluble fibre keeps you satiated and delays the gastric emptying time and an ideal choice of food for people trying to lose weight. Legumes are heart healthy and the soluble fibre helps to lower the cholesterol.
Nuts are packed with a good source of unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals that are heart healthy. A lot of research proves that eating about 30-60 grams of nuts like almonds, walnuts, and peanuts increases the good cholesterol and lowers the LDL cholesterol that clogs up the arteries.
4. Fatty Fish
Consuming fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids weekly two to three times does a great job in protecting the heart from the harmful effects of lipids. The omega 3 fatty acids in fish lowers the LDL cholesterol, reduces triglycerides accumulated in the bloodstream and protects the heart from arrhythmia.
5. Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables and fruit are a must have in your regular diet, they are the storehouse of cardio protective nutrients, phytosterols and soluble fibre. All of these nutrients are helpful in lowering the LDL cholesterol.
Foods To Avoid
Bad cholesterol creeps upwards, whereas the good cholesterol slides down largely because of your unhealthy diet and poor lifestyles.
Saturated fats sources include red meat, organ meat, animal fat, butter, ghee, palm oil etc. Eating foods made using these fats and red meat products will raise your cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease.
1. Trans Fats
Trans fats are found in packed foods like cookies, biscuits, mayonnaise, crackers, pastries, microwave popcorn and frozen food, they are added to increase the shelf life of the products. Stay away from food products that contain trans-fat and check for labels go for foods that have zero trans-fat or less than 5.
2. Full-Fat Dairy Products
People often ignore that full-fat dairy products such as whole milk, full-fat ice-cream, whole fat yogurt, cheese are all rich sources of saturated fats, that should be avoided.
Knowing this, all you have to do is choose foods that lower LDL, the harmful cholesterol which promotes to fats clogging leading to atherosclerosis and cut down foods that elevates LDL.