Foods to Keep Yours at Healthy Levels
While limiting some foods, like meats loaded with saturated fats and full-fat dairy and trans fats can help lower high cholesterol, there are foods that are important in decreasing “bad” LDL cholesterol and raising “good” HDL cholesterol.
About one in six American adults have cholesterol levels of 240 milligrams/deciliter or higher, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). High cholesterol is a serious health concern because it frequently leads to heart disease.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like compound produced in the liver, and its job is to provide the body's cells with flexibility to function properly. Cholesterol is found in every living cell. We cannot live without it. Cholesterol can also be converted to vitamin D in our body and used for the calcification of bones and teeth. It is important to have and maintain the correct cholesterol ratio within the body for optimal health.
There are two kinds of important cholesterol: dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol.
Dietary cholesterol is found in foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products. Blood cholesterol, also called serum cholesterol, is produced in the liver and resides in our bloodstream. Blood cholesterol is divided into two sub-categories: High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL).
Here's how it works: When your HDL cholesterol levels are high, cholesterol globules are more likely to adhere to the walls of your arteries and harden. Over time, as more cholesterol collects, blood flow is restricted. When the blood supply is nearly or completely blocked, a heart attack is next.
Here are some foods that can significantly lower your cholesterol levels.
Soy: Soy protein improves cholesterol levels of healthy adults, more than milk protein, Compared with milk protein, soy protein supplementation significantly increased HDL and significantly reduced total/HDL cholesterol ratio as well as lowered LDL cholesterol. Try adding some organic tofu to your stir-fry, instead of chicken or beef.
Almonds: Eating almonds as part of a healthy diet has a positive effect on blood sugar control and total cholesterol levels. This may also reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that almonds reduce total cholesterol levels by 3% to 11%. LDL cholesterol levels are reduced by 4% to 15%. The effects of almonds on HDL cholesterol will vary, depending on the individual.
Nuts are usually considered off-limits to those who are watching their weight because of their high fat content. Almonds also are particularly rich in magnesium, potassium and vitamin E, along with being a good source of fiber and calcium.
Oatmeal: It is believed that the oat fibers in oatmeal mix with cholesterol in the small intestine, then bind to the cholesterol molecules and carry it out of the body -- instead of it being absorbed into the blood. Oatmeal appears to be most effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
Salmon. Among omega-3-rich fatty fish, salmon is king. Salmon can be greatly beneficial in lowering cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fatty acids, reduce internal inflammation and support overall cardiovascular health. The vitamins and nutrients found in salmon has been shown to increase healthy cholesterol levels (HDL)
The Omega-3’s in salmon also help reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.
Tomatoes. Lycopene in tomatoes can lower cholesterol levels Lycopene found in tomatoes and other red fruits are effective agent for lowering LDL. in addition to lowering cholesterol, Lycopene also helps you reduce blood pressure, protect your prostate, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration and other diseases. Plus, they contain stellar levels of vitamin-C, potassium, and fiber.
Avocados. Men and women who ate one avocado per day for a week had a reduction in total cholesterol of 17%. Avocados contain high levels of good fat.
All told, the type of fat that you consume is more significant than the amount of fat.
People that consumed healthy levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, often had lower risk of heart disease and better blood cholesterol levels than those who consume low-fat diets.
Consume oats, bran cereals and/or beans/legumes every day. Eat at least three pieces of fruit daily and have good portions of a variety of veggies more than once a day.
An excellent cholesterol supplement that include many important natural ingredients is Cholesterol Complete™ (click here to view). It’s a powerful all-natural formula that targets both types of cholesterol; LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). LDL is the cholesterol you should be most concerned with, it is the “bad” cholesterol that clogs arteries and raises blood pressure. HDL is the “good” cholesterol that helps remove LDL from the body. You’re supporting healthy cholesterol with 100% natural approach!