Cholesterol is important for the body to function properly. There are different levels of cholesterol and when it increases in your blood will stick on the arteries wall and narrow down the blood flow. The limited blood flow often creates a risk of heart diseases.
What is cholesterol?
A kind of fat like particles called cholesterol found in the body. The cholesterol is produced by the body and is also available in the food you eat. As cholesterol is important for good health, excess cholesterol can damage the arteries wall and develop the risk of hearing problems.
Cholesterol moves from your blood at protein describe as lipoproteins. There are two types of cholesterol including
LDL – Bad cholesterol which accumulates in the arteries.
HDL – Good cholesterol which travels to other organs to the liver. The liver removes extra cholesterol.
How cholesterol build-up?
Having poor lifestyle causes high cholesterol build-up. Balancing a healthy lifestyle helps to reduce the risk of bad cholesterol. Consuming nutritional diet containing vegetables, fruits, good fats, beans, and whole grains helps prevent high cholesterol.
Here are the essential tips to lower cholesterol.
Eat more heart-healthy foods
If you have diagnosed with high cholesterol, then make few lifestyle adjustments with a healthful diet to enhance good cholesterol levels.
Try to restrict your intake of saturated fats such as red meat full-fat dairy goods which raise the risk of high cholesterol. As you lower the intake of saturated fats helps to reduce the low-density-lipoprotein also describe as LDL cholesterol.
You also require to remove the trans fat from your food intake by checking the food labels. If there is written hydrogenated vegetable oil on the pack of cracker, cakes, cookies. Make sure to avoid hydrogenated vegetable oil because it is banned from the Food-and-Drug-Administration.
Replace unhealthy fats with good fats such as omega-3 fatty acid foods. The omega-3 fat supports heart health and manages blood pressure.
Eat more soluble fiber
Eating soluble fiber-rich food such as legumes, beans, whole grains, citrus, and fruit will provide benefits to reduce cholesterol. Lack of proper enzyme for converting the soluble fiber can be difficult for the digestive tract to absorb the water and become a thick paste.
Soluble fiber helps to absorb the bile which is substance produced in the liver which helps to digest the fats.
Bile is produced from cholesterol. However, the liver requires to produce more bile to pull the cholesterol out from the bloodstream, and it helps to reduce the cholesterol levels naturally.
Frequent soluble fiber intake helps to reduce 5 -10% of total cholesterol and reduce LDL cholesterol in four weeks.
It is suggested to consume 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber every day for the maximum amount of cholesterol reduction.
Limit Trans Fats
Readymade and packed or baked products are highly processed foods which cause to increase bad cholesterol. It contains a high amount of trans fat which create the risk of coronary diseases in the heart. Try to minimize processed foods consumption for better cholesterol levels.
Consuming a limited amount of salt (sodium) also important for healthy cholesterol. You should eat less than one teaspoon (2,300 mg) of salt every day. Try to make sure whatever you eat, the total salt intake should be one teaspoon.
Try to avoid fast foods as they contain a huge amount of salt than require. Sometimes you can enjoy the salty snacks or cookies but not on a daily basis. Reducing salt intake may not reduce your high cholesterol, but it will decrease the heart disease risk by lowering your blood pressure. Choosing no added salt foods can help your low cholesterol diet.
If you are obese or overweight, then try to reduce your weight. Weight loss can be a great way to lower bad cholesterol. A small amount of weight loss of 10 to 20 pounds can greatly impact on cholesterol levels. You can begin with reducing by the small portion size.
Make a goal to get your plate half with vegetables (non-starchy) with on fourth of whole grain and lean proteins.
Try to replace high-calorie beverages with natural drinks.
Do Regular Exercise
The physical workout is vital for a low cholesterol diet. Exercise keeps your body on track by circulating blood in a proper way. Additionally, cholesterol is hugely related to heart health so here are essential exercise to include.
Cardio workout or aerobic helps to strengthen your lungs and heart. Regular performing aerobic exercise will help to shape up your body by lowering bad cholesterol. You can do running, walking and cycling for daily dose for a cardio workout.
Resistance training is another important form of physical workout that creates pressure in your muscles to contract and develop endurance and strength.
According to some research, resistance training provides benefits for heart health by reducing bad cholesterol. You can practice squats, weight lifting for a resistance training routine.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Eating vegetables and fruits helps to reduce the LDL cholesterol levels in your body. According to studies, one serving intake of vegetables and fruits helps to reduce 6% of LDL cholesterol levels than is the group of people eats fewer veggies and fruits every day.
Eating fruits and vegetables every day provide antioxidants which prevent bad cholesterol build up from oxidizing and plaque formation in the arteries wall.
Getting a good amount of antioxidant helps to lower the risk of heart disease.
Together, these cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant effects can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Important foods to lower cholesterol
Legume helps to reduce cholesterol levels. It is a group of plant-based foods including peas, beans, and lentils.
Adding legume in your diet helps to provide rich minerals, fiber, and proteins. Replace your processed meat and refined grains with legumes diet can reduce the risk of heart diseases.
According to a review study of discovered that consuming 100 grams of legumes every day work effectively to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 6.6 mg/dl compared to diets without legume.
Lentils provide good health benefits. Apart from fiber, it contains a sufficient amount of magnesium and folate. The content of folate helps to reduce the homocysteine levels which is an amino acid and necessary for a metabolic process called the methylation cycle.
One cup of cooked lentils provides the following nutrients.
- Calories: 230
- Fiber: 15.6 grams
- Manganese: 49% of the RDI
- Protein: 17.9 grams
- Folate: 90% of the RDI
- Copper: 29% of the RDI
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 22% of the RDI
When your body gets folate (vitamin B6), the homocysteine gets converted fast into methionine and cysteine. Lack of vitamin B the homocysteine increases in your bloodstream and damage your artery walls. It can be a serious risk for heart health.
The content of magnesium in the lentils present benefits for cardiovascular health. Magnesium helps arteries and veins to relax and decrease immunity by increasing blood flow in the entire body. Having a sufficient amount of magnesium helps to prevent free radical damage to your heart.
There are different types of beans which helps to reduce cholesterol.
Chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans. It provides plenty of protein and fiber. One cup of chickpeas provides the following nutrition.
- Calories: 269
- Fiber: 12.5 grams
- Protein: 14.5 grams
- Folate: 71% of the RDI (vitamin B9)
- Copper: 29% of the RDI
- Manganese: 84% of the RDI
- Iron: 26% of the RDI
It helps to manage blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity. Adding chickpeas in your diet helps to improve your blood cholesterol. Its fiber content supports gut bacteria and improves bowel function by eliminating bad bacteria in your intestines.
Pease also one type of legume helps to manage healthy cholesterol levels. Adding one cup of cooked Pease helps to provide the following nutrients.
- Calories: 125
- Fiber: 8.8 grams
- Protein: 8.2 grams
- Vitamin B9 (Folate): 24% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 48% of the RDI
- Manganese: 22% of the RDI
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 30% of the RDI
Peas also provide good fibers and protein which support cholesterol health. Adding pea fiber or pea flour helps to reduce the boost the blood sugar and insulin after having a meal. It also makes you feel a full stomach by reducing blood triglycerides.
Kidney beans are famous food to add in the low cholesterol diet. You can eat it rice to get several health benefits. Eating one cup of cooked kidney beans helps to provide the following nutrition
- Calories: 215
- Fiber: 13.6 grams
- Protein: 13.4 grams
- Vitamin B9 (Folate): 23% of the RDI
- Manganese: 22% of the RDI
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 20% of the RDI
- Copper: 17% of the RDI
- Iron: 17% of the RDI
Foods like kidney beans provide rich fiber and support sugar absorption in the blood. Additionally, it also prevents weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and high cholesterol.
Just like other beans, black beans are an excellent source of protein, folate, and fiber. It is a well-known staple food in South and Central America. Adding one cup cooked black beans provide the following nutrients.
- Protein: 15.2 grams
- Calories: 227
- Fiber: 15 grams
- Vitamin B9(Folate): 64% of the RDI
- Manganese: 38% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDI
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 28% of the RDI
- Iron: 20% of the RDI
Eating black bean helps to reduce high cholesterol by managing abnormal blood sugar after eating. It also prevents weight gain and diabetes.
Soybeans are popular in Asia. It is used in various recipes including tofu. The soybeans include the following nutrients in one cup.
- Calories: 298
- Fiber: 10.3 grams
- Protein: 28.6 grams
- Iron: 49% of the RDI
- Manganese: 71% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 42% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 41% of the RDI
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 29% of the RDI
- Vitamin B9: 23% of the RDI
These nutrients offer high antioxidants named as isoflavones. It also lowers cancer risk and stops bad cholesterol.
Okra provides high fiber, antioxidants, and potassium which helps to boost heart functions. During an animal study, the researcher discovered that okra extract consumption works effectively for reducing cholesterol and sugar spikes in obese mince.
Garlic provides many health benefits, and you can include in your low cholesterol diet. You will require to consume garlic at least for two months to see the better cholesterol reduction. It also prevents heart problems.
Eggplant is one of the unique vegetables. It has wonderful color and provides a different taste with many nutritional benefits. Eating regular eggplant will help to lower the cholesterol in a time of 4 weeks.
Another powerful vegetable is spinach to add in a low cholesterol diet. It is the best leafy green vegetable protect against high cholesterol and heart attack risk. Research tells that consuming half a cup of green vegetables every day helps to lower the cholesterol build-up in the arteries and assist weight loss.
Adding avocado in your diet can help to reduce cholesterol. As avocado contains loads of healthy fats, it provides essential nutrients which manage the digestive tract.
Apple is broadly found in all over the world. Its considered best and healthy fruits for its rich nutrients such as minerals, vitamins. Apple has polyphenols, phytosterols, and fiber which assist in lowering cholesterol levels.
Additionally, apple consumption helps improve digestive health and prevent cancers.
According to human studies, regular consumption of medium size apple helps to reduce total cholesterol level by 5% to 13%. Its nutrients values increase HDL cholesterol by 12%.
Whole grains have shown the best result to reduce the heart ailment risk. Choose whole grain instead of refined grains to get healthy mineral, vitamins, and fiber.
There is two essential whole grain which provides better health.
It provides beta-glucan which is a kind of soluble fiber. It helps to reduce cholesterol. Oats consumption helps to reduce total cholesterol by 5% and bad cholesterol by 7%.
You can also substitute other grains with barley as it also provides beta-glucans and helps in lower cholesterol.
Adding nuts in your diet provide special nutritional values to your health. It is the best food to include in a low cholesterol diet. Nuts contain a high amount of monosaturated fats. Here are the essential nuts to add in the low cholesterol diet.
Walnuts are a popular source of essential fatty acid called omega-3. It is a type of polyunsaturated fats linked with heart health.
It contains plenty of vitamin E, folate and good fats. However, walnuts contain high calories which prevent weight gain. Omega-3 fatty acid helps to lower the triglycerides levels and LDL cholesterol which is also called as low-density-lipoproteins.
Several studies regarding walnuts recommend that you should consume a handful of walnuts every day to get the benefits of lowering cholesterol.
According to FDA research, consuming 1.5 oz of walnut every day provide low saturated fats in the low cholesterol diet. It will prevent you from eating more calories and reduce coronary heart problem risk.
- Protein: 5 g
- Iron: 0.72 mg
- Fiber: 2 g
- Energy: 200 calories
- Carbohydrate:3.89 grams
- Sugar: 1 g
- Fat: 20 g
- Calcium: 20 milligrams (mg)
- Sodium: 0 mg
The one more but you can add in the low cholesterol diet is Almond. Almonds contain rich amount of L-arginine which is an amino acid, and it is essential for making nitric oxide in the body. It also helps to manage blood pressure.
According to multiple studies, almond helps to reduce the lipids and lower the cholesterol level. The result of studies looked promising. These studies went on a large number of individuals including people with high cholesterol and diabetes.
Almond helps to lower the entire cholesterol levels by 3% to 25%.
It helps to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 4% to 35%.
There will be a difference in the effects of HDL cholesterol and almonds.
Eating regular almonds helps to increase lipoprotein levels and reduce low-density lipoprotein.
Adding almonds in a low cholesterol diet can be an excellent snack as they contain rich calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. These minerals are vital for teeth and bone health. Having nutrient deficiency can cause osteoporosis and increase the risk of bone injury.
Almonds contain a rich amount of vitamin E which helps to improve your skin complexion and strengthen hair. The content of antioxidants of vitamin E prevents the sun exposure damage of cells. You can also drink almond milk for hydration.
Almond also hold a rich amount of magnesium and vitamin D which can be beneficial for various cosmetic purposes. Magnesium deficiency cause hair fall. Almond consumption helps to keep moisture in your scalp and improve hair growth.
- Calories: 161
- Carbohydrates: 6.1 grams
- Protein: 5.9 grams
- Fat: 13.8 grams
- Fiber: 3.4 grams
- Vitamin E: 7.3 milligrams
- Manganese: 0.6 milligram
- Magnesium: 57 milligrams
- Riboflavin: 0.3 milligram
- Phosphorus: 136 milligrams
- Copper: 0.3 milligram
- Calcium: 73.9 milligrams
- Iron: 1 milligram
- Potassium: 197 milligrams
- zinc: 0.9 milligram
- niacin: 0.9 milligram
Fatty fish consumption is another way to reduce high cholesterol. It provides omega-3 fatty acid long chain. Fish also contain a good amount of cholesterol. You need not to worry because every seafood contains different grade of cholesterol and many of them help your body to manage the good cholesterol levels.
Your body can not directly make essential omega-3 fatty acids, so adding fatty fish can be a good option for lowering cholesterol. Omega-3 is essential for brain and body functions. Here are important fish types to include in your diet.
Tuna fish is a kind of saltwater fish, and it belongs to bonito and mackerel fish. There is a different type of thing tribe of 15 tuna species. The most famous edible tuna fishes include
- Yellowfin (ahi) tuna
- Skipjack tuna
- Albacore tuna
- Bluefin tuna
- Bigeye tuna
Tuna fish provide essential proteins which assist in skin, hair, and nails health maintenance. It provides essential compounds for hormones and enzymes for repairing damaged tissues.
Adding tuna fish also assist in weight loss due to its low calories. Its high protein content lowers the appetite and prevent frequent cravings and make your fuller till new meal.
Additionally, tuna fish consumption helps manage impaired thyroid function and prevent weight gain. It helps to promote bowl moments, body temperature and sexual functions.
Adding salmon fish in low cholesterol diet provide unsaturated fats and it improves the cholesterol levels in a healthy way. Salmon fish is the best replacement for red meat. It is a nutrient-dense food which helps to raise HDL cholesterol levels.
Eating three ounces of Atlantic salmon provide 23 grams of protein and six grams of unsaturated fat. It also provides vitamins such as vitamin D, B 12, and B6, magnesium, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.
Salmon also have toxins and mercury which can harm when taken more. However, eating salmon fish in a limited quantity for two weeks helps in low cholesterol diet. Make sure to avoid wild Salomon because it contains contaminations.
Including Trout fish in your low cholesterol diet can provide the best benefits. Eating 3 ounces of rainbow trout provide 143 calories and 20 grams of proteins. Protein is essential for new cell production and repair damaged old cells.
Trout fish is a well-known powerhouse for unsaturated fats called omega-3. Adequate consumption of trout fish provides 837 mg of omega-3 fatty acid. With this essential omega-3 trout fish provide benefits to heart health, dementia, and cancer.
Avoid foods to reduce cholesterol
Healthy foods greatly assist in your low cholesterol diet. There are some foods which can interfere in your diet and limit fitness progress. Here is the food consumption you need to stop gradually.
Refined carbohydrates and sugar
Refined carbs and added sugar foods can speed up building cholesterol levels which can increase the risk of many health conditions. Therefore, limit these foods to manage a healthy diet.
Alcohol is healthy if consumed one glass every day but heavy drinking influence to increase bad cholesterol levels. Make sure to limit your alcohol consumption to have good heart health. You can also balance your drink with other healthy substitutes.
Overconsumption of caffeinated beverage such as soda, coffee, and energy drinks may cause to increase your cholesterol levels.
According to many studies discovered that cholesterol and coffee has a link. Coffee contains oils called diterpenes such as kahweol and cafestol. These oils are present in caffeinated beverages.
Research says that cafestol causes to slow down metabolism ability to control the cholesterol.
Another study says that coffee oil causes to lower the neutral sterols and bile acids. This condition causes to increase the cholesterol levels. The cafestol is the strong cholesterol-building syntheses of coffee detected in the human diet foods.
Cook with spices and herbs
Add spices and herbs to your low cholesterol diet. Spices and herbs provide huge nutritional benefits such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
According to human studies, spices like turmeric, garlic, and ginger work effectively for reducing high cholesterol when consumed regularly.
Eating garlic clove every day for 3-months helps to reduce total cholesterol by 9%. Additionally, spices and herbs provide antioxidants which assist in reducing LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. It also prevents plaque formation in the arteries.
You can use herbs like mint, thyme, sage, oregano, clove, and cinnamon which provide high antioxidants.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea is the best natural drink for several health purposes. The green tea can be made with leaves and water to get the green tea liquid.
According to the review study everyday consumption of green tea helps to reduce total cholesterol by 7 mg/dL and LDL cholesterol by 2 mg/dL.
According to animal studies, green tea may help to reduce both bad cholesterols in bloodstream and liver.
It also provides a rich number of antioxidants which prevent cholesterol formation in the arteries.
Green tea consumption every day helps to prevent heart disease and heart attack by 20%.
People who smoke will require to cut off smoking habit to manage a healthy lifestyle. Smoking cause to block the blood flow and blood pressure. For healthy blood circulation try to avoid smoking.
Quitting smoking can also help in building healthy cholesterol and reduce heart problem risk.
Constant smoking causes to damage the following things in your body.
- Build-up tar in lungs
- Block your arteries
- Increase clotting
- Hardens your blood
- Reduce bone strength
- Increases inflammation
- Exhausts your immune system
Cigarette contains chemicals which cause to harm your heart in a different way. It contains carbon monoxide which is a poisonous gas. This gas enters the lungs and bloodstream. It prevents oxygen from reach red blood cells. This condition makes your tissues and organs to get limited oxygen which creates hardness in your artery walls and make it stiff. In the end, it will increase the risk of heart attack.
Cigarette also contains nicotine which is an addictive chemical found in cigarette and tobacco. It causes to narrow down your blood vessels. The narrowness of vessels slows down the blood pressure and heart rate. You heart struggle to pump the blood faster than normal.
Smoking cigarette causes to change the chemical in the body. There are special cells called platelets found in the bloodstream which clump together and react negatively due to smoking. This reaction causes to make your blood thick and stick with a cell which becomes hard for blood vessels to circulate the blood.
Increasing cholesterol become riskier due to smoking. Smoking blocks the artery and speeds up LDL cholesterol build-up.
However, try to avoid smoking to keep healthy cholesterol levels and save your heart.
Supplements for reducing cholesterol
Additionally, you can take cholesterol reducing supplements. It’s strictly recommended consulting doctor before you start with any supplements.
Consuming 1-6grams of niacin can helps to reduce LDL cholesterol levels up to 19% for one year. It may cause side effects depending on health.
Psyllium husk is a kind of fiber supplement. You can mix it with water and take every day to reduce the cholesterol levels.
L-carnitine is another supplement for reducing LDL cholesterol and oxidation in people with diabetes. Consuming two grams of it can reduce oxidized cholesterol.
Another thing you can focus on is essential oils. Using essential oil impact on cholesterol levels. There is certain essential oil which provides a powerful effect on your health.
Here are some essential oils to include in a low cholesterol diet.
Lavender essential oil helps to reduce cortisol hormone and stress levels. Consuming a few drops of lavender oil boost heart health.
Adding rosemary oil provide the best antioxidant qualities. It helps to lower lipid levels in blood and maintain blood sugar.
It is also another essential oil helps to boost blood circulation and manage heart health by lowering cholesterol.
However, these tips will help in lowering cholesterol. Remember, you need to combine healthy foods to get their effective nutrients. Do you exercise regularly and get sound sleep.
While taking any supplement for lowering cholesterol, ask your doctor.