Top 5 Foods to Lower Cholesterol

Top 5 Foods to Lower Cholesterol

It is estimated that one in eight adults have high cholesterol. Elevated cholesterol levels can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. Medication is the standard treatment for high cholesterol. While medication is effective for lowering cholesterol, a healthy diet can also reduce your cholesterol. Here are five of the best foods for lowering your cholesterol:

Oats

You can lower your cholesterol by making changes in your breakfast. Oats are one of the healthiest breakfast foods that you can eat. You can lower your cholesterol even if you only get two servings of oats per day. In fact, there was one study that showed subjects were able to reduce their bad cholesterol by 5.3 percent by eating oats with their breakfast.

Oats contain a substance called beta-glucan. This substance dissolves bad cholesterol. You can have plain oatmeal or an oats-based cereal, such as oatmeal. One bowl of oatmeal or cereal will contain one or two grams of soluble fiber. If you do not like the way that plain oatmeal tastes, then you can add a banana or berries to it.

There are several other ways that you can include oats in your diet. For example, you can use oat flour in your pancake and muffin recipes. You can also sprinkle oat bran into your yogurt. Additionally, you can cook barley and put it in your salad, soups and vegetables.

Fiber is one of the most important nutrients for lowering cholesterol. You will need to get 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day. You will need to get five to 10 grams of soluble fiber. Fiber lowers your cholesterol by blocking the body’s ability to absorb it.

Salmon

Many people avoid eating fish because of concerns about mercury. However, salmon is relatively low in mercury. It can also lower your cholesterol level. Not only does salmon lower your total cholesterol, but it can also boost your good cholesterol by up to four percent. You can benefit your cholesterol by getting two or three servings of salmon per week.

Salmon is also great for lowering your triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are the fat in the blood that provide the body with energy. Many people who suffer from high cholesterol also suffer from high triglycerides.

Additionally, salmon is a great source of vitamin D. Most people are not getting enough vitamin D from their diet. Vitamin D can also lower cholesterol.

If you do not like salmon, then there are many other types of fatty fish that you can eat. You can have tuna, herring or sardines, which are all high in omega 3 fatty acids.

Nuts

You may have been told that snacking between meals is something that you want to avoid. However, it is important to remember that snacking on nutritious foods can actually benefit your health. Nuts are one of the healthiest foods that you can snack on. There was a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that examined the effects that nuts had on cholesterol.

The subjects were asked to eat 1.5 ounces of nuts six days out of the week for one month. The results of the study showed that the subject were able to lower their total cholesterol by 5.4 percent. They were able to lower their bad cholesterol by 9.4 percent.

Almonds and cashews are examples of some of the nuts that you can include in your diet. While nuts are great for your heart, they are high in calories and fat. Consuming too many of them at one time can lead to weight gain. That is why it is important to practice portion control. You can use a shot glass to measure 1.5 ounces of nuts.

Beans

Beans are a great food to include in your diet if you are trying to lower your cholesterol. They have about 1/3 of the fiber that you need for the day. There was a study done by Arizona State University that showed beans can lower bad cholesterol and total cholesterol by up to eight percent. Beans are abundant in fiber, which is why they are great for lowering your cholesterol.

There was another study published in the Journal of Nutrition that followed subjects over the course of 12 weeks. They were asked to consume half of a cup of lentils every day, which has about two grams of soluble fiber. They were able to lower their bad cholesterol by seven percent.

Furthermore, beans are great for people who are trying to lose weight because they are high in soluble fiber. This helps you stay full longer, which will help you eat less and lose weight. There is a link between obesity and high cholesterol. People who are overweight are more likely to have high cholesterol because cholesterol levels have a tendency to increase as weight increases.

The good news is that you can reduce your cholesterol by losing weight. In fact, you can lower your cholesterol even if you only lose 10 pounds.

Dark Chocolate

You may want to consider having some dark chocolate the next time that you are craving something sweet. Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants that can boost your good cholesterol while lowering the bad kind. There was a study done in 2007 where participants were given either a placebo or hot chocolate.

The results of the study showed that the subjects who ate the dark chocolate had a 24 percent increase in good cholesterol. The subjects in the control group only had a five percent increase in their good cholesterol. The study lasted 12 weeks.

Another group of researchers analyzed data from 10 clinical trials. The subjects were asked to eat dark chocolate anywhere from two to 12 weeks. The results also showed that people were able to significantly reduce their cholesterol level.

Furthermore, there was a meta-analysis done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The studies involved people who were at an increased risk for heart disease. Most of the studies lasted for at least once a month. The results showed that the subjects were able to lower their cholesterol by five mg.

It is important to note that dark chocolate is different from milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is made up of at least 70 percent cocoa and has three times more antioxidants than milk chocolate. The antioxidants in dark chocolate can help prevent blood clots by keeping the platelets in the blood from sticking together. Additionally, milk chocolate has more fat and calories than dark chocolate.

You can have one or two small pieces of a dark chocolate bar. You can also make a hot cocoa or chocolate milk using natural cocoa powder.