Cholesterol, in general, is not the bad word many of us perceive it to be.
It’s only when you have excessive levels of bad cholesterol that you’re at risk.
Dietitian Jyoti Chabria suggests these easy ways to lower bad cholesterol and reveals some simple secrets to reduce your cholesterol with the help of foods.
When a patient has a cholesterol problem, the whole lipid profile needs to be considered. A low-density lipoprotein (LDL) indicates higher levels of bad cholesterol. If not treated in time, this can lead to grave problems like heart disease and stroke.
The main method of countering bad cholesterol is with weight loss, which will help to keep bad cholesterol at bay.
However, that’s not as easily done as said. Cholesterol hampers weight reduction and may result in failed attempts at weight loss.
Apart from weight loss, there are certain foods that help in keeping cholesterol under control.
Garlic finds a top spot on the recommendation list. Just 2-3 parts of garlic taken on an empty stomach every day in the morning has been shown to shoot down raised cholesterol levels. Garlic helps to reduce the total serum cholesterol, as well as LDL. However, to gain such results, one must follow the regime religiously for at least two months.
Oxidant-rich foods such as Aloe Vera juice, flax seeds, and wheat germ help to control cholesterol. Even the simple spice of turmeric can be used to lower cholesterol.
When it comes to vitamins, B3 (popularly known as niacin) is very efficient in lowering cholesterol levels. Foods which are rich in niacin include potatoes, tomatoes, flax seeds, broccoli, and cauliflower.
High-fiber foods such as oatmeal and oat bran, both of which contain soluble fiber, help to reduce bad cholesterol. Such soluble fiber is also found in kidney beans, apples, pears, and prunes. Intake of such foods every day can have a significant effect on a patient’s cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber helps by reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream.
Foods rich in omgega-3s directly help to control cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids are known as the “healthy” fats. They are not only healthy for the body as a whole, but they also benefit the heart on many levels. At least two servings a week of coldwater fish is highly recommended. Fish with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids include Mackerel, Herring, Salmon, Sardines, and Halibut. It’s recommended to bake or grill the fish rather than to fry it in order to avoid the intake of unhealthy fats.
As far as nuts are concerned, a healthy intake of all kinds of nuts will benefit a cholesterol patient. Nuts are rich in vegetable protein, fiber, and healthy unsaturated fats. To reap the benefits of nuts, aim for 30-35g a day (about a handful).
Chocolate contains high levels of antioxidants and may help to lower cholesterol. The antioxidants in chocolates help to build HDL (good) cholesterol. But, in order to reap the benefits, make sure you’re eating dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate or white chocolate.
Tea has many benefits for the body, including to indirectly reduce cholesterol levels. Skip milk and sugar in your tea and opt for black tea or green tea. Drinking tea also reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
Lastly, we come to red wine. As surprising as it may sound, red wine actually has many unknown benefits. Consumption of one glass of red wine every day reduces LDL levels by nine percent.