There’s no denying that a healthy diet is the first line of defense against rising cholesterol. If you eat a predominantly plant-based diet—with lots of fruits and vegetables you are on the right track to keeping your cholesterol at a healthy level. Certain so-called super-foods can actually help lower bad cholesterol and/or increase the good cholesterol. Ideally, you want to shoot for total cholesterol under 200, with LDL (the bad one) under 110 and HDL (the good one) greater than 35.Try to incorporate more of these foods into your daily diet. 5 Good Foods For Cholesterol 1. Almonds: Studies have found that eating just a quarter cup of almonds a day can lower your LDL by 4.4 percent, according to dietitian Leslie Bonci, who is also the director of sports nutrition at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Eating nuts, especially almonds, which are high in good-for-you monounsaturated fat, is better than simply eating a low-fat snack like pretzels,” says Bonci. Of course, they can also be high in calories, so stick with a small serving and choose almonds that are dry roasted without oil. 2. Garlic: Garlic is one of the best friends of the circulatory system. It decreases blood pressure and thins the blood. It decreases the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood. because it makes its absorption by the intestine more difficult. It has been proven that in the hours following a breakfast of toast and butter, the level of cholesterol increases 20%, however when the bread is rubbed with garlic, even if it has butter, this increase dose not take place.
3. Walnuts: Despite walnuts containing upto 60% fat, these substances are mainly formed by polyunsaturated fatty acids (especially linolic & linolenic acid), in a proportion seven times higher than that of saturated fatty acids. Latest research proves that unsaturated fatty acids, which are mainly found in vegetables, exert a reducing effect on the cholesterol production. Hence, the consumption of walnuts and other dried fruits not only does not produce cholesterol, but even reduces its production.
4. Sesame: Sesame is an oily plant which contains lipids (52%), all of them being unsaturated fatty acids. Among the fats sesame contains lecithin, which is a powerful emulsion agent. It promotes the dissolution of fats in water environment. Its role on the blood flow is to keep the fat in general especially cholesterol, dissolved, thus avoiding the formation of fat layer on the wall of arteries.
5. Soy: Soybeans, soy nuts and edamame, plus any products made from soy (like tofu, soymilk, etc.) can help to reduce the production of new cholesterol. A little can go a long way—aim for about 25 grams of soy protein a day (the amount in a cup of edamame). And those who are at an increased risk of breast or prostate cancer may want to skip it since too much of soy’s phyto-estrogens can act similarly to the body’s own estrogen (which has been shown to feed some hormone-dependent tumors).
Now that you know the good stuff to add to your diet, try to reduce—or better yet, eliminate—these bad-for-you foods from your repertoire
5 Bad Foods For Cholesterol
There’s no denying that a healthy diet is the first line of defense against rising cholesterol. If you eat a predominantly plant-based diet—with lots of fruits and vegetables plus some fish—you are on the right track to keeping your cholesterol at a healthy level. Certain so-called super-foods can actually help lower bad cholesterol and/or increase the good cholesterol. Ideally, you want to shoot for total cholesterol under 200, with LDL (the bad one) under 110 and HDL (the good one) greater than 35.
Try to reduce—or better yet, eliminate—these bad-for-you foods from your repertoire:
1. Whole-milk dairy products: Saturated fat, which clogs arteries and increases LDL levels, is the No. 1 cholesterol-boosting culprit. And foods like ice cream and cheese are where you’re likely to find them. Swap out the Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby for a lower-fat frozen yogurt, and skip the brie in favor of something less rich, like a part-skim mozzarella.
2. Processed meats: Bacon, sausage, liverwurst and the like are also wonderful sources of artery-clogging saturated fat. Look for lower-fat options, like bacon and sausage made from turkey and other lean protein sources.
3. Fast-food fries: Even worse than saturated fats are the dreaded trans fats. “You might as well take a gun and shoot yourself!” says Dorfman. The main source of trans fats are partially hydrogenated oils, and that’s exactly what most fast-food restaurants are still using to cook their fries. Trans fats hit cholesterol with a double whammy—in addition to raising your LDL, they simultaneously lower your HDL.
4. Tropical oils: Palm kernel and coconut oils are two of the fattiest of oils—100 percent of the bad-for-you saturated variety. Don’t use them when you cook at home, and try to avoid them when you eat out (most fast-food restaurants have eliminated them, but you can check their Web sites for detailed nutritional information). Use heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, like olive, canola and safflower oil, instead. According to the ADA, “Eating too many foods high in saturated fat may increase blood levels of [lipoprotein] LDL and total cholesterol. High blood levels of LDL and total cholesterol are risk factors for heart disease.”The World Health Organization came to similar conclusions about saturated fatty acids.
5. Baked goods: Many manufacturers of packaged cookies and cakes have eliminated trans fats from their recipes, but check the nutrition labels to be sure. But all baked goods—even those that are homemade—are high in saturated fats, thanks to the butter and shortening. Since no one wants to give up dessert completely, eat high-fat baked goods only occasionally, opting more often for low-fat sweets like sorbets.
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