It is no secret that certain foods can help to lower (bad) cholesterol LDL, which causes a buildup of plaque in the arteries that leads to heart disease, heart attacks and stroke. Something surprising is that many of these foods are delicious and easy to incorporate into everyday meals without sacrificing flavor.
It contains flavonoids, which is antioxidants that help lower LDL levels. Overeating is not a good idea as chocolate is also high in saturated fat and sugar. Moreover, dark and unsweetened cocoa powder in cooking can bring similar heart-healthy effects.
They are much more beneficial than just creating guacamole. They have oleic acid, which helps to lower the bad cholesterol. A few slices on a turkey sandwich or salad will do the job. Avocado oil, which has a subtle and sweet flavor can also replace other oils in cooking.
It contains resveratrol, a substance found in the red grape membrane, which may prevent damages to blood vessels by reducing the risk of blood clots and lowering the LDL level. Drinking too much alcohol can bring other health issues. However, a glass of red wine with dinner is fine, too much of it can bring other problems.
Both black and green teas contain powerful antioxidants that may reduce cholesterol level. Green tea typically contains more of these antioxidant as it is made from unfermented leaves and it is less processed.
They are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Almonds, walnuts and pistachios can help to reduce the LDL level. They can be on a salad or as a snack. It is better to be low-salt and kept to about 1.5 ounces a day. Nuts are also high in calories and 30 piece of them, which makes a quarter cup full is fine to eat daily.
Tuna is another good source of omega-3 and generally, it costs less than salmon. Albacore (white tuna) has more omega-3 than other tuna varieties. Mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and anchovies are also good omega-3 sources.
Tip: Grill tuna steak with dill and lemon. Choose tuna, which is packed in water, not in oil.
it is made from the first press of olives and it is especially rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which can help protect blood vessels. It’s also a good source of monounsaturated fats, which are a better choice than saturated fats (such as butter).
Tips: Use it as a small amount for salads, cooked veggies or with bread. Cold-pressed are better and they should be used within six months.
A small portion of walnuts a day may lower bad cholesterol level and ease inflammation in heart’s arteries. Walnuts are rich in omega-3s, monounsaturated fats and fibre. The benefits come when walnuts replace unhealthy fatty foods like chips and cookies.
Tip: Walnut oil has omega-3 too and that makes it good as a salad dressing.
These green soybeans have moved beyond Japanese restaurants, where they are a tasty appetizer. They are packed with soy protein, which can help lower blood triglyceride levels. A half-cup of edamame also has nine grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber equal to four slices of whole-grain bread.
It is a great form of vegetarian soy protein with its heart-friendly minerals, fiber and polyunsaturated fats. It can taste the spices or sauces that are used to cook it.
Tips: Chop tofu firmly. Then, marinate it before grill or fry. It can be a friend easy on the oil. Adding tofu to soups for its protein with no added fat is also a great option.
Replace ordinary potatoes by sweet potatoes. With a low glycemic index, it will not cause a quick spike in blood sugar level and they also have fibre, vitamin A and lycopene.
Tip: Boost their natural sweetness with cinnamon and lime juice rather than sweet toppings.
This sweet and juicy fruit has the cholesterol-fighting fiber pectin as well as potassium, which help control blood pressure. Research shows that it may make blood vessels work better and lower blood pressure.
Tip: A medium orange has an average of 62 calories with three grams of fiber.
The dark green vegetable is rich in potassium, magnesium and minerals that help control blood pressure. It is also rich in fiber, vitamin A and the lutein antioxidants.
Tip: Serve it with grilled meats or fish.
These sweet and crunchy veggie help controlling blood sugar levels and reduce diabetes risk. They also reduce cholesterol levels since they are a source of soluble fiber, which is also found in oats.
This nutty whole grain can replace rice in dinner or simply add to soups and stews. The fiber in barley can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar level too.
Tip: Whole grain barley is the best. They are also nice as cereal or as a side dish. Pearled barley is also good but, much of its fiber has been removed.
Oats in all forms can help to lower LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. A warm bowl of oatmeal keeps people up for hours and can fight snack attacks. It also keeps blood sugar levels stable over time, which makes it ideal for diabetic people.
Tips: Replace one-third of the flour in pancakes, muffins or other baked food by oat. It also can be used instead of bread crumbs in cooking.
This shiny and honey-coloured seed has three beneficial nutrition that are good for the heart. Fibre, phytochemicals, which is called lignans and ALA. Omega-3 can be found in this plant as well.
Tips: Grind flaxseed can be added to cereal, baked goods, yogurt or mustard on a sandwich.
While low-fat dairy foods are often well-known for their benefits to bone health, they can also help control high blood pressure too. Yogurt has twice as much calcium and potassium as milk. To minimize fat intake, low-fat or non-fat products are better to be chosen.
Tip: Use milk instead of water in instant oatmeal, hot chocolate and dried soups.
Sterols fortified foods:
Some margarine, soy milk, almond milk and orange juices have fortified with cholesterol-fighting sterols. These plant extracts block cholesterol absorption in the gut and can lower LDL levels by 10% without affecting good cholesterol (HDL).
Tip: Eat or drink at least two grams of sterols daily.
Coffee and tea help protecting the heart. The good news is that even decaf coffee works the same. Studies show that people who drink three to four cups a day are less likely to be diabetics too. In case of high blood pressure, the decaf coffee must be consumed since caffeine can make it worse.
Tip: Choose black coffee or a non-fat latte to limit fat and calories intake.
Kosher Salt: People with high blood pressure could try this type of salt. The salt has larger grain size and has more flavour than regular table salt so a little amount can be enough and end up with less sodium. A teaspoon of kosher salt has 1,120 to 2,000 mg of sodium and the daily limit for people with high blood pressure is 1,500 mg daily.
Cherries: Cherries are packed with anthocyanin, which is believed to help to protect blood vessels. Cherries in any form from fresh sweet cherries and the sour cherries that used for baking as well as dried cherries and cherry juice have that antioxidant.
Blueberries: They are simply brilliant when it comes to nutrition. Anthocyanin gives them their deep blue color and they are also beneficial to the heart. Blueberries also have beta-carotene, lutein, vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium, potassium and fiber.
Tips: Add fresh or dried blueberries to cereal, pancakes, or yogurt.