Food intake guideline for successful cholesterol reduction
There is no controversy any more in the question of whether elevated cholesterol levels and the development of coronary heart disease are connected to diet. Proper nutrition and the eating process itself are essential for your cholesterol-lowering struggle.
You can achieve good results in lowering your cholesterol levels only by changing your high cholesterol-food-eating habits.
Try to use on daily bases at least few of the following foods:
- Garlic; garlic (Allium sativum) has the ability to reduce the total blood cholesterol level. It dissolves harmful LDL (bad cholesterol), while increasing beneficial and protective HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Garlic lowers triglycerides, improves circulation, improves the LDL/HDL ratio, and is useful for blocking arteriosclerosis.
- High-fiber food; it will help you to reduce high blood cholesterol and triglycerides levels. They lower the level of harmful LDL, while raising valuable and protective HDL cholesterol. Fiber can help unplug your arteries by reducing your elevated cholesterol. It is important to use fiber to sweep the excess cholesterol out and maintain healthier cholesterol levels. Eat more fiber in the form of bran. Use Wheat Bran, Corn Bran, Oat Bran, and Rice Bran. Especially useful for cholesterol reduction are Rice Bran, Corn Bran, and Oat Bran. You can use these brans separately or you can mix them all in equal quantities and use them together. Add bran to your soups, pastas, and porridges just before you turn off the gas-fire, mix it thoroughly, and serve. Also you can take it with your fresh squeezed vegetable and fruit juices, baked goods, topping for yogurt or other food that might need a bit of a crunchy texture. Take during the day 2 – 3 tablespoons of bran. In order to avoid some disturbances (like gas, flatulence, or bloating) increase your daily consumption of fiber gradually.
- Artichokes; they (all varieties) help reduce cholesterol levels and promote heart health. Artichokes not only reduce cholesterol but they also increase bile production and enhance liver function. Improved liver function is important for lowering cholesterol levels. Also, increased bile secretion inhibits in its turn the production of cholesterol and speeds its elimination from the body.
- Oatmeal and oat bran; they are useful for lowering total cholesterol levels. They raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol), thus improving this important ratio between good and bad cholesterol. Oatmeal and oat bran prevent heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure.
- Almond oil and almonds; almond oil is a potent cholesterol reducer. Use almond oil in your regular diet, especially in place of saturated fat. It is available in health food stores. Also, almonds themselves are beneficial for the same reason. They lower (bad) LDL cholesterol, and raises (good) HDL cholesterol.
- Oils; use in your cooking and with the salads along with almond and grapeseed oil as well the olive oil. Use the extra virgin olive oil. It is the best olive oil. Also, corn oil is helpful for elevated cholesterol. Among the vegetable oils that are the most stable to oxidation are olive oil and then corn oil.
- Carrots; they help to reduce cholesterol levels. Carrots scour cholesterol from arteries and trigger a reduction of total cholesterol by 50 points or more in a matter of days. Pectin in carrots is one of the compounds that make the difference.
- Beans; beans are useful in lowering serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body. All varieties of beans are useful for high cholesterol problems but pinto, adzuki, lima, kidney, and navy beans maybe work better than others. They are the richest sources of soluble fiber among other beans. They can lower total cholesterol levels in 2 – 3 months by about 20 percent. Soluble fiber from beans in the digestive tract traps cholesterol-containing bile and removes it from the body before it is absorbed.
- Soybean sprouts; they are useful for cholesterol reduction as well. Sprouts are predigested food and that is why they are optimal for food. Also, sprouts are the simplest form of raw enzymes.
- Grapefruit; it has the ability to improve the ratio between HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol). The cholesterol-lowering fiber (pectin) in grapefruit helps prevent strokes and heart attacks. The grapefruit’s pulpy membrane (the stuff that separate one section of the fruit from another) is especially loaded with pectin. Vitamin C in this fruit is a potent antioxidant, which prevents the oxidation of LDL. The oxidation of LDL leads to plaque deposits in the artery walls.
- Grapes; they are beneficial for lowering high cholesterol. Grapes contain a substance (resveratrol) that reduces cholesterol. Resveratol is a natural antioxidant that protects cells against dangerous substances known as free radicals.
- Consume more green leafy vegetables and sprouts.
- Water; drink more water daily. Drink the water 7 – 8 minutes before eating. Water deficiency can contribute to elevation of cholesterol levels. High blood cholesterol is a sign that the cells of the body have developed a defense mechanism against the osmotic force of the blood. This osmotic force keeps drawing water out through the cell membranes because the concentrated blood cannot release a sufficient amount of water to go through the cell membrane. Cholesterol production in this situation in the cell membrane is a part of the cell survival system. Cholesterol, like “natural clay,” will make the cell wall impervious to the passage of water. So excess cholesterol formation denotes that the body is dehydrated.
- Seafood; eat fish meals 2 – 3 times a week. Fish is easier to digest. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, are useful for cholesterol reduction. Among seafood try to include more fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring in your diet to prevent high LDL cholesterol levels.
- Dairy products; try to consume dairy products in moderation or use fat-free or low-fat varieties.
- Animal products; try to consume animal proteins in moderation. Animal protein is usually found in close association with large amounts of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat.
- Fats; reduce the consumption of all kinds of fats, especially the saturated ones. Even unrefined vegetables oils, if consumed in excess, can create blood too rich in fat and cholesterol.
- Fried food; avoid all heated fats. Do not eat fried foods. Boil, bake, or steam your food, rather than fry it. Even vegetables are not good when fried. Usually when vegetables are fried they tend to sop up more fat than even meat.
- Sugar and refined flour; avoid sugar, and refined flour. In general, bakery goods offer very little benefit to a cholesterol-lowering diet. The same thing is true of all processed and packaged food. Actually, huge amounts of saturated fat (sometimes partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils) may be hidden in commercially made cookies, cakes, pastries, cheesecakes, pies, candies, and crackers. If you want to have clean arteries, avoid all this type of food. The same thing applies to fried foods, potato chips, French-fried potatoes, fried corn tortillas, and popcorn.
- Alcohol; try to avoid or at least very limited alcoholic beverages consumption.
- Exercise; exercise is a proven cholesterol fighter. Regular exercises are help to raise the levels of HDL (good cholesterol), while they lower levels of harmful LDL and thus improve the important LDL/HDL ratio.
- To find more about cholesterol-lowering foods, and supplements read Top 10 Cholesterol Lowering Foods and Top 10 Cholesterol Lowering Supplements by Souren Malkhasian.