The most common culprit of deaths today is heart disease, and it does not choose its victims. Heart diseases usually result from the high presence of cholesterol in the body, specifically the bad kind of cholesterol.
There are actually two kinds of cholesterol in the body, the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol which is the bad cholesterol and the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) which is the good cholesterol. The bad cholesterol deposits itself on your artery walls, forming plaques that can make them hard and narrow. The good cholesterol, on the other hand, removes the excess LDL in your blood and moves it to your liver for disposal. The more HDL you consume, the less LDL you will have in your body. To help reduce the bad cholesterol, some people may need proper medication. However, following a heart-healthy diet is also equally important. Below is a list of ten cholesterol-lowering foods that you may want to give a shot:
Pterostilbene, a compound found in blueberries, can help reduce the body’s cholesterol levels in the same way that commercial drugs can.
Approximately 87% of the fats found in avocados are heart-healthy and unsaturated. These fats can potentially reduce cholesterol levels in the body and also protect against heart disease and diabetes.
3. Flaxseed oil
Flaxseed oil can decrease blood pressure in men with high cholesterol. According to a study of men aged 59, those who took flaxseed oil supplements every day experienced a significant decrease in their blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic.
According to studies, the probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus reuteri, which are found in live active-culture yogurt, help reduce cholesterol levels. They do this by preventing the reabsorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. Yogurt is also a low-calorie snack, and you can take it on a daily basis.
5. Foods Fortified with Plant Sterols or Stanols
Sterols or stanols, which are extracted from plants, have the ability to block the absorption of cholesterol in the body. Getting two grams of plant sterols a day can lower LDL cholesterol by 10 to 15 percent. You can find sterols in fortified foods such as margarine spread, granola bars, salad dressings, and orange juice. Please take note, however, that plant sterols are not for everyone. It is only recommended by AHA for people with high levels of LDL cholesterol.
Broccoli is full of soluble fiber which helps control high levels of cholesterol in the body.
Compounds found in artichoke leaves have been proven to inhibit HMG-CoA reductase and thus reduce the body’s bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol.
Pthalides, a content found in celery, helps increase secretion of bile acid which subsequently lowers the cholesterol.
The fiber found in zucchini is proven to lower cholesterol by attaching itself to bile acids which the liver makes from cholesterol and by lowering its ability to digest fat.
10. Red Wine
Red wine contains resveratrol and saponins which have been found to lower the bad cholesterol.
Whether you are young or old, male or female, underweight or overweight, it is very important to have your cholesterol levels checked from time to time. Before you know it, you might just be an inch away from getting that potentially threatening heart disease, and it will already be too late to undo the past. Thus, while you still have time, try to live a healthy lifestyle by including cholesterol-lowering foods in your diet.