Food and health go hand-in-hand, but thanks to our erratic lifestyle and junk food intake, many amongst us suffer from high cholesterol levels. Having high cholesterol, especially LDL, is typically linked to heart diseases. Fortunately, the high level of cholesterol in your body is not the end of the road. This is because there are food items available that aid in bringing down the cholesterol levels effectively., i.e., a cholesterol diet.
But remember, every food item adopts a different approach to bring down the cholesterol. Some provide soluble fiber which binds the cholesterol and eliminates it from the body others gives you polyunsaturated fats which help in the direct reduction of LDL. So, are we asking you to go on a diet? No, of course not! You will be surprised to learn that many food items that help to keep a tab on the cholesterol levels are lip-smacking and incredibly delicious.
So, here is a rundown of some of these magical food items aka a cholesterol diet that should make way to your platter as early as possible.
Soluble fiber is found in abundance in beans. They are also a very versatile food that you can cook in many innovative ways. Beans generally take a long while to digest by the body. Hence, they are the best food item for people who are trying to shed those extra pounds. So, what are you waiting for? Let tonight’s dinner be a wholesome bowl of beans with a dash of coriander! And oh yes, the beans could be black beans, kidney beans, or any form of lentils.
Oats are a powerhouse of fiber, and you can have them either in the form of oatmeal or add them to your dosa or cutlet batter. And in case you can’t stand their taste or stickiness, powder them and mix them with your daily roti daal. It is one of the most comfortable and most convenient ways to incorporate them into your daily diet and lifestyle as it is one of the best cholesterol reducing foods.
Avocados are loaded with nutrients, so they bless us with good health and wellbeing. They are also rich in monounsaturated fats that help to lower LDL and up the healthy HDL. One of the best ways to consume avocados is to slice them into your mid-evening sandwich or switch to the subtly sweet flavored avocado oil for everyday cooking.
Almonds and Nuts
Eating a daily serving of nuts especially almonds and walnuts helps to regulate the cholesterol levels successfully. Nuts are also rich in minerals that help to keep the heart healthy and fit. So, next time you are hit with a mid-day slump ditch that cheesy burger with a handful of nuts and don’t forget to add some walnuts and almonds to this list. Of course, the low-salt option and be wary and consume them in moderation because they are high on calories.
Fruits such as strawberries, oranges, apples are rich in pectin that helps to lower the LDL levels. The immense benefits of a healthy bowl of fruits aren’t an alien concept to any of us, so why not befriend them right away! And if you don’t feel attracted towards the bowl, maybe, you could make a Citrus Berry smoothie or shake.
Many researchers also suggest that soy and soy-related products such as tofu and soy milk help to reduce the bad cholesterol levels. So, looks like its time to make soy an integral entrant in your diet in the form of a bowl full of cereal dipped in soy milk or some tofu stir-fried.
Biting into that sinful bar of dark chocolate and feeling guilty? Don’t be! The good news is dark chocolate is filled with anti-oxidants and flavonoids that help lower the LDL levels. But make sure you are consuming the chocolate in moderation and create a healthy choice of opting for unsweetened cocoa powder rather than the fatty, sugary chocolate bar.
Most vegetables are fibrous and low on the calorie count. For example, eggplant (brinjal), okra (ladyfinger) both are rich in soluble fiber and help to control a rising cholesterol level, making them the best cholesterol reducing foods.
Next time you want to sauté some veggies or toss them for a quick, nutritious salad, use the very healthy olive oil. Olive oil is a plant-based fat and is a great contributor to lower bad cholesterol. If you are planning an intimate barbeque session with close family and friends, make it a healthy affair by roasting the veggies and herbs using olive oil.
Both black and green teas are rich in powerful antioxidants and thus help to keep your cholesterol levels in check. But if you want to choose between green and black tea, choose green because of it less processed and made from unfermented leaves.
A diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts not only helps in lowering the cholesterol levels but also helps to keep the blood pressure in check.
Additionally, there are also numerous fortified foods that you can pick up that help in the absorption of excessive cholesterol. These contain natural chemicals called sterols which are obtained from plant foods. So, next time you go to a departmental store check the labels of yogurts, granola bars and some orange juice brands that contain these natural chemicals. At the same time, also watch out for the calorie counts of each of these items too.
And finally, just adhering to a nutritious diet is not sufficient. Supplement this with, good eating habits, and regular exercising. And if nothing helps to control your cholesterol levels, then maybe its time to see a specialist who will add some medication to keep the cholesterol levels under check.