If you are looking for ways to reduce cholesterol without medication, then you have to know about the cholesterol lowering food list. Knowing what foods to avoid with high cholesterol and what foods to eat to lower cholesterol is very important for patients in addition to exercising or taking conventional medicines. So today we are giving you the low down on ways to reduce cholesterol naturally without medication.
1. Eat wild salmon
Foods to avoid with high cholesterol are butter, oils, ice cream and fatty meats. On the other hand, food like salmon are rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids which help control overall cholesterol by lowering LDL or bad cholesterol levels.
2. Go nuts
Nuts such as walnuts are great super foods that lower cholesterol quickly. Walnuts are rich in omega 3 essential fats and are good for the brain, heart, weight management etc. Eat a handful daily. You can also add almonds to your cholesterol diet menu. Almonds are rich in unsaturated fats that raise HDL cholesterol levels. Nuts and seeds also make LDL cholesterol less likely to oxidize. When LDL oxidizes, it can gunk up the arteries and cut flow to your heart-s so snack away on nuts and seeds.
3. Drink fortified orange juice
Orange (and fortified orange juice) contain cholesterol busting phytosterols. Studies have shown that just 2 grams of phytosterols-the amount found in an 8 oz glass of orange juice- can lower LDL or bad cholesterol. However, people taking medications might want to check with their doctor before consuming oranges or their juice since citrus often interacts with certain medicines. If so, you can look for sterol fortified soymilk, cheese, bread etc. You can also add margarine spreads fortified with plant sterols and vegetable/seed oils to your cholesterol diet menu.
4. Cook with olive oil
Olive oil is one of the best foods to eat to lower cholesterol. It is rich in plant phenols which make blood less likely to clot. Use it in your pastas, baking and even stir-frying. It is best to avoid or limit intake of coconut and palm oils. You can also go for peanut oil, sunflower and sesame oils. While buying oils, look out for terms like ‘light’, ‘extra virgin’ etc. Virgin, extra virgin and cold pressed are terms used for indicating the level of refining. Light means light in color, flavor etc. Nutritionally speaking, there is no difference.
5. Eat your vegetables
Include plenty of vegetables in your diet. You can steam them and add some light salad dressing or olive oil on them. Steaming actually enhances the cholesterol lowering ability of vegetables. Veggies like asparagus, okra, carrots, green beans, beets, cauliflower and cabbage are great for lowering cholesterol naturally as they bind with bile acids stimulating the liver to use up LDL cholesterol. This reduces the LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.
6. Snack on berries
Almost all fruits are good for lowering cholesterol naturally because of their fiber content. However, blue berries are superfoods for a reason-they clear your arteries, support liver function and literally sweep out the bad cholesterol from the bloodstream. You can add fresh or frozen blueberries to your oatmeal or smoothies or simply enjoy them as a snack.
7. Include oats
Oats are one of the best superfoods for the heart. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning can lower cholesterol by increasing your fiber intake. Same goes for bran-these foods contain soluble fiber which binds with cholesterol and prevent it from getting absorbed into the bloodstream. 1 ¼ cups of cooked oatmeal can provide you with 5 grams of fiber. Top your oatmeal with walnuts, almonds, berries and chopped apple for even more cholesterol lowering benefits.
8. Avocados are great
Like walnuts and fatty fish, avocado are a great vegetarian source of healthy fats, essential fatty acids and other cholesterol lowering compounds. The heart healthy monounsaturated fats in this fruit (yes avocado is a fruit!) literally knock out the LDL cholesterol and triglycerides whilst boosting the good cholesterol. So go ahead- add baked avocado to your salads, make a guacamole or enjoy it with some healthy whole grain crackers.
9. Increase your intake of tomatoes
Research has shown that eating lycopene rich tomatoes for a week can lower your bad cholesterol by as much as 10%. Lycopene breaks down the artery-clogging fats and also limits LDL production. So go on and eat marinara sauce daily if possible. ½ a cup of tomato sauce can give you 25 mg of lycopene which is how much you need per day.
10. Beans push out cholesterol
Participants of a study who ate half a cup of baked beans daily for 3 months lowered their cholesterol levels by nearly 8%! Beans contain fiber which pushes out cholesterol and keeps the heart healthy. If you choose canned beans, wash them first to lower the sodium content.
Apart from these superfoods for cholesterol, make sure you follow a strict exercise regime as well to maintain healthy levels.