Foods to Lower Your Cholesterol

An extremely common and dangerous health issue is high cholesterol.  Your cholesterol levels tell you how much at risk you are to heart disease.  Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, followed by cancer. 

How cholesterol causes heart disease:

  • When there is too much fat substance (cholesterol), it builds up in the walls of your arteries
  • Over time, it hardens within the arteries, called atherosclerosis
  • The arteries become narrower and blood flow is stopped or slowed
  • If blood cannot flow freely to the heart, the heart will not receive enough oxygen, resulting in heart disease and higher risks of heart attacks and strokes.
This is why it is necessary to maintain low cholesterol levels!  Although, high cholesterol can be due to genetics, there are many other things you can do to lower your risk such as—being active, not smoking and eating a fiber-rich diet.  

*Fiber slows the rate at which cholesterol is absorbed.  It also latches on to cholesterol, clearing it from your arteries and eventually clears from your body through excretion.

Cholesterol Levels:
<200 mg/dL– Desirable
200-239 mg/dL— High
> 240 mg/dL — Very High
Here are a few foods that have been shown to lower cholesterol:

  1. Oats: they contain beta-glucan, a substance that absorbs LDL, which your body then excretes 
  2. Salmon: the omega-3 fats do wonders and have been shown to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease, dementia, and many other diseases. 
  3. Nuts: a study showed that people who noshed on 1.5 ounces of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month lowered their total cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL Cholesterol by 9.3%.  Get those omega-3s!
  4. Beans: their substantial amounts of fiber contribute to lowering LDL cholesterol 
  5. Dark Chocolate: the antioxidant in chocolate builds HDL levels (Dark has 3 times as many antioxidants as milk chocolate.
  6. Spinach: It contains lutein, which not only prevents blindness but also helps clear cholesterol clogging.
  7. Avocado: these contain monounsaturated fats, a type of fat that helps raise HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL.
  8. Garlic: it has been found to lower cholesterol by preventing cholesterol particles sticking to artery walls.  In addition, it prevents blood clots, reduces blood pressure, and protect against infections

 

Now, get eating!!

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