Cholesterol Lowering Foods
Cholesterol Lowering Foods
Becoming aware of what cholesterol lowering foods are available is so important with the many food choices we have today. We seriously need to become informed on the consequences of our choices of which foods we choose to eat. With our amazing supermarkets it is so easy to choose foods that are fast, easy to
prepare and eat, which are not only lacking the nutrition that we need but often causing many problems
with our health.
When high cholesterol is your problem you need to find foods that will help
lower the LDL "bad" cholesterol and raise the HDL "good" cholesterol.
Some foods that are shown to reduce cholesterol are:
- Beans, especially red kidney beans and lima beans - are high in fiber and low in fat.
They also contain lecithin, a nutrient that my mother use to take to fight her high
cholesterol and triglycerides. Recommended: A cup and a half of beans a day.
- Ground flaxseed. Flaxseed promotes cardiovascular health with it's
ultra-high levels of omega-3 fatty acids by lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol.
It also contains B vitamins and lecithin which also act to lower cholesterol. The oil from
flaxseed is known as "Linseed Oil." Recommended: 2 T per day.
Fruit. The good news in cholesterol lowering food, is that we can increase our fiber intake by eatings
fruits that contain pectin fiber. And there are lots of fruits that do. Some of them
are apples, peaches, pears, and plums. Carrots have also been studies as a vegetable
that lowers cholesterol. Wash and blot dry, but don't peel them so that you don't lose the vitamins found in the peelings.
To double the good benefits, dip slices of apples into peanut butter. It's yummy
If you juice these fruits (and carrots) don't use a juicer - use a blender instead to blend your
drinks and smoothies. This gives us the fiber that helps reduce cholesterol that we
don't get from juicers.
Recommended: Nine servings per day.
Blueberries and huckleberries. These are filled with antioxidents.
They are delicious cholesterol reducers. As with bilberry, mentioned on the page
Lower Cholesterol, they also include anthocyanosides which keep
our blood vessels strong and decrease inflammation. They also protect the heart
You can eat blueberries and huckleberries anywhere. Sprinkle them on your cereal - or ice cream (homemade of course), put them in smoothies, add them to salads, eat them by the handful. Freeze them to munch on on a hot day. They are delicious.
Avocado. Avocados contain beta-sitosterol, a unique chemical that lowers
cholesterol. Avocados have shown to be on the list of cholesterol lowering foods in over 16 studies.
In one study the group that was given a diet high in monounsaturated fats ( olive oil
and avocado) reduced their cholesterol by over 8% in just six weeks.
Avocados are fun and add variety to your diet. (Notice the huge avocados in this picture!) You can even spread mashed avocado on
your bagel instead of butter or cream cheese or put avocado slices on your sandwiches and
in your salads. I love avocado slices in tortilla soup.
one more food with lots of calories so don't over do it.
Artichoke (Cynara scolymus). The leaves and roots of the artichoke have a chemical in
them called cynarin. Cynarin helps to block cholesterol from being absorbed into the
intestines and it keeps the liver from producing so much cholesterol. Triglycerides
also drop when eating artichoke.
Artichoke also contain a compound called luteolinis which is also believed to help
reduce LDL "bad" cholesterol. Definitely one of the good cholesterol lowering foods. Caution: Do not use if you suffer from gallstones
or gallbladder problems. Do not slather them with butter either.
Oats. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber (and lots of other things), which reduces your
low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad" cholesterol. I have so many things to say about
oats that I am writing a whole page just on them.
Check it out.
Other whole grains Other whole grains full of fiber also help reduce
cholesterol. Barley and whole wheat, for example, are loaded with fiber. Aim for 50 grams of
fiber or more a day.
Nuts. As far as cholesterol lowering foods go, you can't get any better than nuts.
Nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and will help reduce LDL (bad)
cholesterol. They are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Nuts have lots of l-arginine, which is a substance that increases flexibility of
artery walls and makes the blood less prone to forming blood clots. And then there is fiber.
Fiber helps reduce cholesterol and helps you feel full so you eat less.
Nuts are also high in Vitamin E which helps stop the development of plaque in
artery walls, and nuts have Plant Sterols that also help lower cholesterol. So Wow!
The Food and Drug Administration tells us that if we eat a handful
of most nuts a day it may reduce our risk of heart disease. The most healthy nut appears
to be walnuts. Other healthy nuts are almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and pecans.
Also peanuts which tests show also reduce triglycerides.
Remember: All nuts are high in calories and eating too many will still make
us fat. The macadamia nuts are the highest in calories at 204, with almonds the lowest at
163. Also, nuts covered with salt or sugar coating loose their health benefits by
adding a big dose of salt or sugar to our diet.
Pine Nuts. Still a nut but one we don't think of when thinking of cholesterol
lowering foods. Pine nuts have a lot of B1 and B3 vitamins, they also have lots of
magnesium and vitamin E, all known to help reduce cholesterol. They also contains pinolenic
acid, which lowers the LDL "bad" cholesterol.
Sesame Seeds and Sunflower Seeds. Both of these seeds are also on the list of cholesterol lowering foods. They are full of vitamins
and fiber and phytosterol that control the levels of cholesterol. Sesame seeds also
contain sesamin which has been shown to reduce cholesterol. Don't forget Tahini. Tahini
is a paste made of ground sesame seeds. If you haven't used it before try it.
Vitamins and Where to Find Them
One other thing that we haven't talked about yet, in
cholesterol lowering foods, is vitamins. Vitamins are found in abundance in most foods.
I am listing some of the vitamins that are known to be a help in
lowering cholesterol along with the foods and herbs that contain those vitamins.
- Vitamin B3 or Niacin. Is used for lowering LDL "bad" cholesterol. It also
lowers triglycerides and fibrinogen, a blood protein that causes clots to form.
It also raises HDL "good" cholesterol.
B3 is found in a number of foods, including oily fish, cheese, eggs, and most meat.
Some herbs that contain B3 include alfalfa, burdock root, nettle, oat straw, and peppermint.
- Vitamin E. A powerful anti-oxident that supports heart health.
It is found in green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts, whole grains, and cold pressed
vegetables like olive oil
Some herbs that contain Vitamin E include alfalfa, nettle, and oat straw.
- Magnesium. Magnesium is found in high amounts in the heart. It helps to
regulate the heart beat and decrease blood coagulation.
Magnesium is found in seafood, meat, dairy producst, green leafy vegetables,
Herbs that contain Magnesium include alfalfa, horsetail, kelp, mullein, nettle,
oatstraw, and peppermint.
- Selenium. Selenium is a mineral and anti-oxidant that helps protect the body
from harmful substances. It works with Vitamin E to prevent heart disease.
Cholesterol lowering foods that it is found in include brazil nuts, brewer's yeast, dairy products,
meat, poultry, onions, salmon, and seafood.
Herbal sources include alfalfa, burdock root, horsetail, nettle, oat straw,
Seems like we have lots of options here in cholesterol lowering food, as well as
herbs to lower cholesterol, and just plain lowering cholesterol naturally. All I can
say is that if we don't do something about it we have no one to blame but ourselves.
I remember a saying I once heard:
"Why Do We Do What We Do When We Know What We Know?"
LET'S DO GOOD!!
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