Top foods to reduce your cholesterol

-Oct 29, Hannah Hargrave , Health -

High cholesterol is a cause for concern but there are ways you can reduce it not only by exercising but by changing what you eat. 

Discovering you’ve got high cholesterol can be a big worry as it can lead to life threatening heart problems from heart attack to stroke. But the good news is that you can reduce it with some fairly simple lifestyle changes, starting with your diet.

Since high cholesterol means you have too much of the fatty substance in your blood – which can block up the vessels – it’s imperative you reduce your intake of fatty foods. And while cutting out greasy takeaways and lowering your consumption of cheese, meat and butter will make a major impact there are plenty of foods you should also ADD to your diet to lower your cholesterol too.

You want to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and up the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and here are the foods to help you do that. 

Related: Everything you need to know about the longevity diet

Oatmeal

Kickstart your day with a bowl of heart healthy porridge instead of an unhealthy sausage bap and you’ll not only stay fuller for longer you’ll be doing your cholesterol levels a big favour too. 

Oatmeal contains soluble fibre which reduces your LDL ‘bad cholesterol’ and it can be pretty delicious as well.

Legumes

Pulses such as peas, beans and lentils are packed with fibre, protein and minerals and help lower bad cholesterol levels.

They can be a great substitution for meat or refined grains and they also promote growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Plus they take more time to digest than processed foods so you won’t be tempted to eat as much either.

Related: How gut health messes with your mood and what you can do about it

Nuts

There are some nuts in particular which, when added to your healthy diet, can do wonders for your cholesterol. Pistachios, walnuts and almonds contain high amounts of unsaturated fat, which is the good stuff and lowers the bad fats.

Fruits

Fruits such as grapes, strawberries, oranges and apples are rich in pectin. This is a type of soluble fibre that can lower LDL. Fruit is a tasty way to add to your five a day and if you’re got a sweet tooth it can help curb your craving for something sugary as well.

Vegetable oils

You don’t have to pack away the oils entirely if you’re trying to lower your cholesterol because liquid vegetable oils such as sunflower, canola and safflower actually help lower LDL. 

Soy

Soy products, like tofu, soybeans and soy milk help to reduce cholesterol levels and if you use them as substitutions for meat you’re helping cut down your intake of cholesterol raising foods. 

Fatty fish

Instead of tucking into a piece of red meat which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, switch it out with health fatty fish, like tuna or salmon instead. Not only are these fish tasty they are packed with omega-3 fats which lower the triglycerides in the bloodstream.

If you found this article interesting then you might also like to read which foods you can eat to make you feel more youthful and learn how to get more nutrients out of your fruit and veg.

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