Heart diseases due to high cholesterol are one of the major health conditions that are prevalent not only in the country, but also across the globe. More than 100 million Americans suffer from cardiovascular diseases, with a good part arising from high cholesterol levels. The statistics make it all the more imperative to treat the health condition efficiently. While there are several medical options to treat the disease, making changes to our daily diet, too, can help significantly. The following foods lower cholesterol, thereby keeping the heart healthy:
These fruits have an abundance of monounsaturated fats and fiber that help in reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol in the blood. It not only helps in managing obesity but can also help in reducing blockages in the arteries, thereby abating the risk of several cardiovascular diseases.
- Green tea
Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which help in increasing the metabolic process of the body. It helps in not only burning excess fat but also in reducing bad cholesterol levels in the body, thereby managing cardiovascular diseases.
This is one of the most effective cholesterol-lowering foods that can be included in one’s daily diet. Barley is rich in soluble fiber, which means that it can keep bad cholesterol in check and also avoid the bloating of the stomach. It does not affect high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or “good” cholesterol in the blood. Beta-glucans, which are natural components, present in barley, help in preventing the absorption of bad cholesterol. Medical experts suggest opting for minimally processed barley as it is more efficient in managing cholesterol levels in the body.
Lentils are not only a good source of protein, but they also keep heart diseases at bay. Lentils such as black-eyed peas, red lentils, and yellow pigeon peas help in trapping bad cholesterol and preventing it from blocking the arteries. They also help flush out cholesterol from the body.
Walnuts are a rich source of monounsaturated fats, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which keep cholesterol levels balanced. They are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats that ensure good heart health. Other nuts such as almonds contain an amino acid called L-arginine, which sustains good cholesterol. It helps the body make nitric acid, which further helps in lowering bad cholesterol and high blood pressure.
These are young soybeans that are one of the top cholesterol-lowering foods, as they are rich in soluble fiber and isoflavones. Isoflavones are a plant compound that help in lowering bad cholesterol.
- Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains cocoa, an ingredient that helps in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Cocoa stops the oxidation of this type of cholesterol, and prevents it from reaching the heart, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.