Looking to lower your cholesterol? You’re at the right place!
Heart disease is one of the world’s primary causes of disease and death. But you can get ahead of this eventuality by basic, and to be honest, quite simple changes. The best food to reduce cholesterol may not be the worst food in taste. The fact that healthy and tasty don’t go together is a childish notion! Ask any chef today, and they’ll tell you that the right balance behind food lies in the balance between nutrition and flavor.
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So come along with us, GoMedii, as we explore the top 5 best foods to reduce cholesterol and think heart-healthy!
But First: What Is Cholesterol and Is It Good or Bad?
The answer to that is a little bit of both!
You see, cholesterol isn’t all bad. It is created in your liver and for more than one important function. However, too much of anything is a bad thing. And that’s true for cholesterol as well. Too much cholesterol can lead to cholesterol build-up in the wrong places, such as the arteries.
Much like oils and fats, cholesterol isn’t soluble in water. Therefore, its transportation in the bloodstream depends on little molecules known as lipoproteins. Lipoproteins carry cholesterol, fats, and fat-soluble vitamins in the blood. And this is where the difference between good and bad cholesterol comes in.
The Difference between the Good HDL and the Bad LDL
Lipoproteins, the vessels responsible for carrying cholesterol and other fats in the bloodstream, can be divided into HDLs and LDLs.
The Good: HDL
High-Density Lipoproteins or HDL is a combination of lipids and proteins. The lipids and proteins need to be attached to move through the blood. The reason HDLs are good is because of their function of carrying cholesterol away from blood vessel walls. This cholesterol is taken back to the liver to be expelled from the body.
The Bad: LDL
Low-Density Lipoproteins, on the other hand, is known as the bad cholesterol. This is because high levels of LDL lead to cholesterol build up in the arteries, and deposits on artery walls. This can lead to clogged arteries, strokes, and heart attacks.
High LDL can of course cause problems with the heart, but on the other hand, low HDLs can be problematic as well. So read on for the 5 best cholesterol-reducing foods, that lower the bad cholesterol and increase the good!
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5 Best Foods to Reduce Cholesterol for Better Heart Health!
What you put in your body has a strong effect on cholesterol and what happens to your body. In the same way, a good diet will almost instantly show signs of improvement. That is why heart-healthy and cholesterol-lowering foods are important.
Here are a few foods that the best foods to reduce cholesterol and add health to your diet.
Oats and Barley
Whole-grain foods reduce your risk of heart disease. Oats and barley are extra special because they are high in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber feeds the good bacteria or probiotics, in the intestine and helps to lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.
Blend an avocado and make yourself some guacamole, because it’s high in monounsaturated fats and fiber. Both of these help in lowering bad LDL and raise good HDL cholesterol.
Fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s helps heart health by increasing “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering the risks of inflammation or a stroke.
Fruits are rich in soluble fiber, which again, helps with lowering LDLs. They have the ability to help the body get rid of LDLs and even stopping the liver from producing more of them. Pectin is one such soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol by up to 10%. It can be found in apples, grapes, citrus fruits, and strawberries.
Didn’t way say healthy food doesn’t mean it is not tasty? You read right! Dark chocolate is effective in not only increasing HDLs but also in stopping LDLs from oxidizing. Oxidization of LDLs is a significant cause of heart diseases. However, chocolate found in the market is often high in added sugar, a substance not good for heart health.
That is why patients should use either cocoa or dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 75% or higher.
Heart problems are a major cause of disease and death across the world. However, this condition can be managed by lowering cholesterol. All cholesterol isn’t meant to be lowered. Foods that increase HDLs (Good Cholesterol) and lower LDLs (Bad Cholesterol) are the best food items to incorporate into the diet for good heart health. After all, a good or bad diet is paramount in determining heart health.
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