Keeping your harmful cholesterol levels under control is easy if you can make a few simple changes to your diet.
Follow these five easy food tips to boost heart health and prevent high cholesterol.
Eat less saturated fat
Saturated fats are the substances found in fatty foods such as burgers, steaks, butter, and cheese. To reduce the chances of a heart attack, replace these foods with healthy proteins such as skinless chicken breasts, fish, olive oil, canola oil, and low-fat yogurt. It is important to limit your daily intake of saturated fats.
Avoid hydrogenated oils
Food such as potato chips or sweets and baked goods contain hydrogenated oils. These oils, also known as trans fats, extend the shelf life of the product, but they can be harmful to general health, increase the proportion of harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and reduce HDL, which increases the likelihood of a heart attack. Scientific studies have proven that consuming trans fats raises the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and lowers the good (HDL) cholesterol.
Eat soluble fiber
Many foods contain a soluble fiber known as beta-glucan. Beta-glucan traps cholesterol-rich bile acids in your gut so that they can be eliminated before you can raise cholesterol in the blood. Whole grains such as whole-wheat bread and brown rice contain plenty of insoluble fiber.
Eat unsaturated fats
Eating foods high in unsaturated fats, such as avocados, helps lower harmful cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. Avocados are incredibly rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as high levels of beta-sitosterol, the same substances found in some cholesterol-lowering margarines.
Nuts are fatty, but they are really good for cholesterol, thanks in part because they contain monounsaturated fats that lower cholesterol in the blood.
Dietary adjustments, along with an active lifestyle and reduced stress, help fight cholesterol more effectively. Incorporate the above tips into your daily life and notice the difference.