An increase in cholesterol levels can lead to several illnesses like diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases, which can result in heart failure and eventually death. The foods we eat play a major role in regulating the cholesterol level, so it doesn’t really matter how much you exercise to get those extra pounds off, it still falls back to what you have on your plate. Here are 5 foods that can help lower your cholesterol level.
1. Red wine
High-fiber Tempranillo red grapes, used to make red wine, have been shown to significantly lower cholesterol levels. A study in Spain found that individuals who consumed the same grape supplement found in red wine had their LDL levels decreased by 9%, and those who had high cholesterol going into the study had a 12% drop in LDL. Scientists have thereby concluded that you can drink a glass of red wine every day to improve your health.
Nuts are known as heart healthy foods as they help to lower LDL cholesterol levels. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who noshed on 1.5 oz of whole walnuts 6 days a week for one month had their total cholesterol lowered by 5.4% and their LDL cholesterol by 9.3%. You can also opt for other healthier nuts like cashews and almonds. Although beneficial to the health, nuts are also high in calories, which is why portion control should be strictly practiced.
Beans contain fiber which makes them heart-healthy, as fiber helps to slow the rate and amount of the absorption of cholesterol in certain foods. Studies have found that adding half a cup of beans to your soup helps to lower total cholesterol up to 8%, which includes LDL cholesterol. You can try black beans, kidney beans or pinto beans due to the fiber content.
Spinach contains lutein, usually found in dark green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. This pigment is known to help protect against age-related macular degeneration which is a leading cause of blindness. Studies have also shown that half a cup of lutein-rich food daily to guard against heart attacks by helping the arterial walls get rid of cholesterol invaders that may form plaques.
For some time now, tea has been well known for its cancer-fighting antioxidant properties. It has also been shown to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels. A study found black tea to reduce blood lipids by up to 10% in about 3 weeks.
Regular workouts combined with the right meals will help to manage your cholesterol levels.
Image courtesy of: healthyrise.com.