Though we may think that we make healthy choices for the best foods to lower our cholesterol, yet we can always do more. Sometimes, all it takes it making a few slight alternations to our diet through different food choices, especially if we’re trying to prevent or reduce the dosage of medication. In this post, I’ll share five of the top foods that may do the trick to improve blood cholesterol levels.
To begin with, you may want to start your day off with a bowl of oats. The reason this is such a great beneficial grain that could help in this battle against cholesterol is because it has soluble fiber, which can lower the bad variety of cholesterol, otherwise referred to as low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Therefore, aim for about three-fourths to one cup of cooked oatmeal that could provide between three and four grams of that essential fiber. In fact, you can increase that amount by adding fruit such as a banana, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and apple are a few that can add an additional boost of that beta glucan.
If you can’t abide cooked oatmeal, you can always turn to dry oat cereal. However, the amount of that fiber drops significantly. You can expect about half the amount of that soluble fiber for the same size serving.
Apples are also one of the best cholesterol lowering foods proven due to their bioactive polyphenols, especially if you eat two red apples a day according to the research. The reason for why this type of apple is better is because it also has specific concentrations of flavanols (catechin and proanthocyanidins (PAs), hydroxycinnamates, dihydrochalcones, and anthocyanins that have been shown to lower serum cholesterol, increase the good cholesterol (HDL) while preventing the bad fats from sticking to blood platelets.
Another food warrior that could help in this battle against cholesterol is the nut like almonds, walnuts, pecans, and peanuts among others for their plant sterols. For example, two ounces of a variety such as almonds (about 43) is enough to contribute about five grams of that soluble fiber. Though you may fear the 328 extra calories you consume from them, there is an interesting study that suggests it may help overeating from how satisfied and nutritious they are.
Something else that matters for seeing progress in lowering cholesterol is examining the type of oil that you cook with or eat in the form of a margarine or a spread. Lard or vegetable shortening may make a wonderful pie crust, but use caution for all the unhealthy saturated trans fats they possess. Replace them with healthier options such as olive oil for its monosaturated fatty acids, coconut oil, canola oil, sunflower to safflower oil. Butter often gets a bad rap. But, if it is used sparingly, it poses the same health risks as some margarine, especially the older forms. It is important to read margarine or spread labels for their saturated and trans fat content to make an informed decision. Look for one of the new vegetable oil spreads that have both mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
Besides ones such as fruits, vegetables and oats, increasing more plant stanols and sterols with foods such as from milk products like yogurt to cheese as well as whole grains are other great choices for cholesterol busting.
These are just five of the best and proven foods to lower cholesterol that can make a difference to improve your health.