Diet and exercise play vital roles in raising or lowering cholesterol. Food control therefore is one of the most important aspect to not only lower your cholesterol but also to lead a better quality life due to improved heart functioning. What you really need is to adjust your taste buds to these healthy food habits. In addition, if you do regular exercise such as 40 minutes of walk then you certainly will lower cholesterol naturally. Food comes in different variety of nutrients. Some foods contain more cholesterol then the other. This dietary cholesterol along with consumption of saturated fat increases your cholesterol levels.
The first step is to increase your intake of fiber rich foods. Most food items have varying degrees of soluble and insoluble fiber content. So select foods with higher soluble fiber. Soluble fiber rich foods such as oats, beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, fruit and vegetables help reduce cholesterol.
Your aim to remain healthy by reducing LDL and increasing HDL is accomplished by eating foods that reduce LDL and increase HDL. Soluble fiber reduces absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream. Your real enemy in Cholesterol is LDL. Soluble fiber rich foods reduce LDL.
Increasing HDL is accomplished more by exercise than by food.
1. Oatmeal :
Oatmeal and oat bran cereals are excellent soluble fiber rich foods. Eat one cup of cooked oatmeal mixed with banana in the breakfast every day. This permanent change in the morning meal will reduce your bad cholesterol LDl (Low Density Lipoproteins) by more than 5 %. This is a very significant reduction. it is achieved because a compound beta-glucan in Oats absorbs LDL which is then excreted by your body. Oatmeal is a scavanger of bad cholesterol. eat it reguarly and keep your heart happy.
2. Nuts :
Eating nuts is another way to reduce cholesterol. All nuts contain fatty acids so you need to be careful in selecting nuts. Nuts rich in polyunsaturated fatty acid help reduce cholesterol and keep blood vessels healthy. Walnuts and Almonds are great source of polyunsaturated fatty acid.
The biggest disadvantage of the nuts is that they contain high calories. You must do exercise to kill the calories to get the best out of eating nuts. Don’t eat fried or salted nuts. The maximum quantity of nuts you can consume a day is about 1.5 ounce to get the real benefit. A study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests consumption of 1.5 ounce of whole walnut for a months lowered total cholesterol by 5.4 % and LDL by 9.3%. So for the nuts, but exercise to balance the excess caloe intake to get best results.
Other nuts such as hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans and pine nuts are also good.
All fats are not bad. In fact research around the world has proved benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Fishes :
Many kinds of fishes such as Albacore tuna, Lake trout, Herring, Sardines, Salmon, Mackerel and Halibut contain high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. American Heart Association recommends at least 2 servings of fish per week.
Omega-3 faty acids have been useful in warding off heart disease and many other diseases. When you replace saturated fats with omega-3s You can raise good cholesterol HDL as much as 4%. Fishes are one of the few foods that raise HDL so go for Omega-3 rich fishes.
4. Avocado :
Avocados are a complete meal. This is the perhaps only fruit that contains fat in addition to other nutrients. It has many compounds that lower cholesterol. The fat itself is one because it is Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). The other fat compound is called bet-sitosterolwhich reduces cholesterol absorbed from the food. Eat Avocados with care as it is high in caloeies.
5. Tea :
While tea has become well known for its cancer-fighting antioxidants, it is also a great defense against high LDL cholesterol levels. According to research conducted with the USDA, black tea has been shown to reduce blood lipids by up to 10% in only 3 weeks. These findings were concluded in a larger study of how tea may also help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Foods to Avoid :
Some of the foods such as butter, cakes and biscuits, cream, ghee, hard cheese, lard, meat pies, palm oil and sausages should be reduced or completely avoided to lower your cholesterol.
Other foods to avoid are the foods that contain trans fats such as animal meat and dairy products.
The other methods of reducing cholesterol is by exercise. In fact you have to work on all the methods to reduce cholesterol to get the best and fast results.