22 Feb 2017
Foods With Good Cholesterol: Keep Your Heart Happy!
I’ve recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol. Are there any foods that I should be eating to lowering it? Yes! There are foods that can lower your total cholesterol and also foods that can increase your good cholesterol. Here are the top five foods that can help you lower your total cholesterol and the two foods you should avoid.
Oatmeal and oat bran are rich in soluble fiber, a type of fiber, which lowers the LDL cholesterol “ bad” cholesterol without lowering the “good” or HDL cholesterol. Five to ten grams of soluble fiber a day decreases LDL cholesterol by about 5 percent. Include other soluble-fiber-rich foods such as barley, apples, pears, prunes, brussel sprouts and psyllium.
Eating a cup of any type of beans a day—particularly kidney, navy, pinto, black, chickpea, or butter beans—can lower cholesterol by as much as 10% in 6 weeks. Soluble fiber forms a gel in water that helps bind acids and cholesterol in the intestinal tract, preventing their re-absorption into the body. This could be why soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol levels (and decreases the risk of heart disease). Eat beans five or more times a week. For the greatest health benefits, the National Cancer Institute recommend that adults get 25 to 30 g of fiber each day.
3. Walnuts & Almonds
Walnuts and almonds are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, which significantly reduce cholesterol. Just 1/3 cup of nuts can decrease your cholesterol. Nuts are also rich in fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants such as Vitamin E and selenium.
Avocados are also a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. This good fat can raise levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol) while lowering levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol).
5. Fish, and Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Fish is a good source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association recommended eating at least 2 servings of fish a week, particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, albacore tuna sardines, trout and herring.
Incorporating these foods into your diet will help lower your cholesterol but it’s also important to avoid certain foods that can increase your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. Trans fat (partially hydrogenated oils) are used in commercially baked products and can significantly increase your LDL cholesterol. It’s best to choose foods that have zero trans fat. They are typically found in animal products such as cream, fatty cuts of meat, fried foods, and whole milk dairy products.
To replace saturated fats the next time instead of eating butter try Becel Margarine (Cholesterol lowering). Try substituting ground beef with extra lean beef, veal, chicken or turkey. As an alternative for using whole milk try 1% or 2% low fat milk and yogurts.
These tips with a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise should help you get you the results you want.
Questions? Drop me a line! Here’s to eating well
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