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Cholesterol Lowering Foods - What to Know About Them

February 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 182

Cholesterol is an important type of fat found in the blood. All cells require it for internal as well as external membranes. It is also required to help in the production of some hormones and other functions. The body makes the ingredient required for body function. Therefore, some of the dietary product is excreted through the liver. However, consuming too much of the saturated fats can result in excess of it.

Foods that lower its levels:

Managing its levels in the blood is not necessarily an easy do-it-yourself project. It is advisable to work with the health care provider. While changing the diet to accommodate cholesterol-lowering foods may help, some people still require medication in order to reduce chances of heart disease.

Some of the main foods recommended due to their ability to lower include:

· Oatmeal and high fiber foods: Oatmeal consists of soluble fiber that plays an effective role in the reduction of "bad" or low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Other foods containing soluble fiber include prunes, kidney beans, barley, pears and apples.

· Olive oil: Olive oil contains a mixture of antioxidants that play an important role in the reduction of LDL while leaving HDL. About 23 grams or 2 tablespoons of olive oil is recommended for daily consumption. Adding olive oil to the diet can prove helpful; add to marinade sauté vegetables or mix with vinegar to use for salad dressing. Furthermore, butter can be substituted with olive oil when basting meat.

Olive oil consists of high levels of calories; therefore, it is advisable to avoid eating levels beyond the recommended levels.

· Fish & omega 3 fatty acids: Fatty fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which help in the reduction of blood pressure and blood clots. Fish oil or omega 3 fatty acids is helpful in persons who might have experienced a heart attack in the past by reducing chances of sudden death. A minimum of 2 servings of fish on a weekly basis can prove helpful.

Omega 3 fatty acids level is in large quantities, particularly in herring, halibut, mackerel, sardines, salmon, lake trout and albacore tuna. In order to avoid adding fats which are not healthy during preparation, it is advisable to grill or bake the fish.

· Walnuts and almonds: Nuts are important LDL foods. They contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Walnuts are recommended highly because they help in keeping blood vessels healthy. A daily consumption of nuts (about 42.5 grams) including almonds, peanuts, some pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans and pistachio nuts has the capacity of reducing chances of heart disease. However, it is advisable to avoid salted nuts or nuts coated with sugar.

· Nuts have high levels of calories; taking a handful will help. To avoid gaining weight, foods with high levels of saturated fats such as meat, cheese can be replaced with nuts, by adding a handful of almonds or walnuts in your salad.

Foods with plant sterols: There are several foods available, fortified with sterols, a substance obtained from plants that can be used in blocking cholesterol. Orange juice, yogurt drinks and margarines fortified with sterols can help as ultimate cholesterol lowering foods.

Source: EzineArticles
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