Choosing a healthy diet is important in helping you keep your cholesterol level low and below are some of the healthy foods you can include in your daily diet to keep your cholesterol level low.
1. Oats and barley
Both oats and barley are rich in beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that forms a gel which helps to bind cholesterol in the intestines and prevent its absorption.
2. Soya foods
Soya foods are naturally low in saturated fat thus lowering your cholesterol. The special proteins present in soya also appears to influence how your body regulates cholesterol. You can eat soybeans or foods made from them, like tofu and soy milk.
All nuts,including almonds, walnuts, peanuts etc are rich in vegetable, protein, fiber, heart healthy unsaturated fats, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium etc. A handful of nuts can lower your cholesterol level by an average of 5%.
4. Foods fortified with plant sterols and stanols
Plant sterols are structurally similar to cholesterol and their cholesterol lowering effects have been known for years as they help the body to absorb cholesterol from foods. Plant sterols/stanols are naturally found in foods like vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. An intake of 1.5-2.5 g of plant sterols/stanols daily can lower your cholesterol level by 7-10%.
5. Foods rich in unsaturated fats
Monitoring our daily saturated fat intake is important for keeping our cholesterol levels in check, but it is also important to replace this saturated fat with modest amount of unsaturated fats that can be found in sunflower, corn, rapeseed, olive and other vegetable nuts and seed oils. Other foods rich in unsaturated fats also include avocado, oily fish and nuts.
6. Fruits and vegetables
All fruits and vegetables are low in saturated fats and they are also a valuable source of cholesterol lowering soluble fibers. You should try to include at least one pulse beans, lentils, peas in your meal daily. Other rich sources of pectin, a soluble fiber that lowers your cholesterol include citrus fruits, apples, grapes and strawberries. Also okra and egg are low-calorie vegetables and are good sources of beta-glucan.
7. Fatty fish
Eating fish 2-3 times a week can lower your cholesterol levels because they contain omega-3s that work by reducing triglycerides in your blood stream.
8. Take Psyllium
Psyllium also known as Metamucil are seed grains sold as a soluble fiber supplement and laxative. To get the cholesterol lowering benefits, you can take 1 teaspoon with water 15-30 minutes before your meal.
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