The foods that lower cholesterols: Top Ten Cholesterol-Lowering Foods
The way a person eats has a big impact on how healthy their cholesterol levels are. Eating food that lowers cholesterol levels in a healthy range will help you avoid health problems like heart attacks and strokes.
This article provides a list of food that can be included in one’s diet to help lower cholesterol levels. It also investigates which foods should be avoided.
Table of Contents
What is cholesterol? Foods that lower cholesterol fast
Cholesterol is a waxy component found in two types of lipoproteins: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) that pass through the bloodstream.
LDL cholesterol is commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol because it causes fatty deposits to form in blood vessels. These deposits can obstruct normal blood flow, resulting in heart attacks or strokes.
HDL cholesterol is also known as “good” cholesterol. Aids in the removal of cholesterol from the body via the liver. High HDL cholesterol levels can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
List of Foods that lower cholesterol (cholesterol-lowering foods)
Legumes and Beans
Beans are high in soluble fiber, a type of fiber that has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels in the body. Beans, moreover, are the richest source of soluble fiber.
Seafood and Fish – Foods that lower cholesterol
Fish can be found practically everywhere in Nigeria, and they have several health benefits, including the ability to help decrease cholesterol to some extent, thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids they contain.
If you want to reap the maximum benefits of fish, you should avoid deep frying because the extra oil may raise your cholesterol once more. Please remember to keep this in mind!
Brown rice – Foods that lower cholesterol
The rice, often referred to as ofada rice, is a good source of nutrients, fiber, and vitamins. Brown rice, unlike many other rice varieties, includes a lot of saturated fat, which is important for keeping your cholesterol levels in check.
Tomatoes – Foods that lower cholesterol
Tomatoes are high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that gives them their reddish hue. Regular intake of this antioxidant, on the other hand, is particularly efficient in decreasing LDL cholesterol levels by a significant amount.
Coconut oil – Foods that lower cholesterol
Because of its excellent effectiveness and apparent outcomes, coconut oil is one of the most commonly suggested home treatments for high cholesterol.
Coconut oil’s lauric acid can help you maintain a healthy cholesterol ratio by raising “good” HDL cholesterol while lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol in your body.
Oats – Foods that lower cholesterol
Oats include beta-glucan, which is a food that lowers cholesterol levels in the body. It also eliminates bile salts in the colon, which are responsible for cholesterol synthesis, as well as lowering the amount of information absorbed by your body.
Vegetable’s soup – Foods that lower cholesterol
In Nigeria, vegetable soup is a popular dish made with fluted pumpkin leaves, also known as ugwu. In Nigeria’s southern regions, the soup is known as Edikang Ikong.
Vegetable Soup is high in fiber, contains potent antioxidants, and is low in calories, all of which are beneficial to heart health.
Pectin, a cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber found in apples and oranges, is abundant in many plants.
Corn pap (Akamu) – Foods that lower cholesterol
Corn pap, also known as akamu, ogi, is a fermented cereal pudding popular in Nigeria for breakfast. It is extremely nutrient-dense and rich in essential minerals and vitamins. It also has a high potassium level, which helps to decrease blood pressure, provides energy, and is 100% natural.
Nuts are another nutrient-dense food that lowers cholesterol levels.
Monounsaturated fats are abundant in several nutritious Nigerian nuts. Nuts also include phytosterols, a substance that lowers cholesterol by preventing it from being absorbed into the intestines.
Avocados are high in heart-protective monounsaturated fats and beta-sitosterol, which help you maintain a healthy cholesterol level by raising “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Banana is not only a wonderful natural fruit, but it also has a lot of health benefits. Because of the dietary fiber and other strong characteristics it contains, this magnificent fruit can significantly lower cholesterol levels in your body.
Herbs that lower cholesterol
- Fenugreek is also beneficial: did you know that consuming fenugreek can help lower blood cholesterol levels? Yes, one substance found in fenugreek called ethyl acetate lowers cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Consume ginger: Ginger is high in bioactive chemicals, which lowers the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels.
- Turmeric prevents artery hardening: It’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics aid in the reduction of excessive cholesterol levels.
- Garlic’s Benefits: Garlic’s chemicals and minerals, such as allicin, manganese, and phosphorus, assist decrease high cholesterol levels by regulating healthy blood flow in the body.
Foods to avoid high cholesterol
- Baked food
Cookies, cakes, and pastries are frequently produced with considerable amounts of butter and shortening, which raises cholesterol levels.
- Red meat
Saturated fat is abundant in beef, hog, and lamb. The fat content of hamburgers, ribs, pork chops, and roasts is the highest. You don’t have to eliminate meat; simply consume it on rare occasions.
- Fried food
Deep-fried foods, such as chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, and onion rings, are among the highest in cholesterol. Foods that are fried have a higher energy density or calorie count.
- Processed meat
Because hot dogs, sausage, and bacon are made using the fattiest cuts of red beef, they are rich in cholesterol and saturated fat.
How can I lower cholesterol with diet?
A cholesterol-lowering diet is one of the heart-healthy lifestyle adjustments.
Choose fats that are good for you. Total and saturated fats should be kept to a minimum.
Healthy fats, such as lean meat, nuts, and unsaturated oils like canola, olive, and safflower oils, should be substituted for harmful fats.
- Cholesterol-containing foods should be avoided. You should consume fewer than 200 mg of cholesterol each day if you are trying to decrease your cholesterol. Foods containing cholesterol include liver and other organ meats, egg yolks, shrimp, and whole milk dairy products.
- Consume a lot of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber-rich foods aid to keep cholesterol from being absorbed by your digestive tract. Among these foods are: Cereals made with whole grains Apples, bananas, and other fruits Kidney beans, black-eyed peas, and lima beans are examples of legumes.
- Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables. A diet high in fruits and vegetables can help your body produce essential cholesterol-lowering chemicals. These molecules, often known as plant stanols or sterols, function similarly to soluble fiber.
- Omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish should be consumed. These acids won’t help you lower your LDL, but they might help you raise your HDL. Salmon, tuna (canned or fresh), and mackerel are all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Limit your salt intake. You should strive to consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium (salt) each day (about 1 teaspoon of salt).
- Alcohol should be consumed in moderation. Alcohol adds additional calories, which might result in weight gain. Weight gain can increase LDL levels while decreasing HDL levels.
FAQs on Foods that lower cholesterol
- How quickly can your cholesterol levels be reduced?
After a few days of improved living, cholesterol reduces gradually, not abruptly. There is no specific period during which cholesterol will reduce.
Within 6 to 8 weeks, cholesterol-lowering medications usually cause a shift in LDL. Changes in lifestyle can affect cholesterol levels in as little as a few weeks. It may, however, take longer, usually around three months and sometimes even more.
- Is there a way to lower cholesterol without using medication?
Yes, by altering your lifestyle, which includes what you eat, such as limiting harmful fats and increasing your omega-3 intake. Limit alcohol, eat more fiber, and cut back on added sugar. Quit smoking, exercise regularly, and establish good sleeping habits.
Summary on Foods that lower cholesterol
High cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for heart disease.
Thankfully, you may minimize this risk by integrating specific items into your diet. Increasing your intake of these foods will help you maintain a balanced diet and a healthy heart.