Low Cholesterol Foods That Are Effective
It is very important to keep a check on your blood cholesterol levels because high low-density lipid (LDL) levels are associated with increased risk of stroke and heart diseases. High blood cholesterol levels are usually caused by consuming foods high in saturated fats. Saturated fats are found in many foods such as meat pies, sausages, butter, cakes, biscuits, and in various processed foods. There are also some foods such as kidneys, prawns, and eggs which naturally contain cholesterol.
Adopting healthy habits such as eating healthy and balanced diet and exercise regularly can help lower your cholesterol levels to healthy levels. To reverse high blood cholesterol levels, the body needs to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) intake by cutting back on foods containing saturated fats and consuming low cholesterol foods.
Here we will look at the most effective low cholesterol foods that aid the body in managing blood LDL levels.
♦ Low cholesterol foods
Different foods lower blood LDL in different ways; some contain fibers which bind cholesterol precursors in the digestive tract hence preventing absorption into the blood stream, some contain polyunsaturated fats which directly reduce LDL in the blood, while some may contain stanols and sterols that prevent cholesterol absorption from the digestive tract. The top foods include:
1- Barley and Oats
Oats and barley have been shown to be very effective. These whole grain foods are some of the best sources of soluble fibers. A bowl of oats delivers 3 grams of soluble fibers to the digestive tract hence halting cholesterol absorption. Oats contain a substance, beta glucan, which binds and absorb LDL which is then excreted from the body.
2- Legume foods
Beans, lentils, peas, and other legumes contain a significant amount of soluble fibers. The abundant fibers in these foods reduce the rate and amount of cholesterol absorbed into the bloodstream. Beans have particularly high amounts of soluble fibers and take longer to digest hence your left feeling fuller for longer.
Apart from its antioxidant properties, tea has a very notable effect in lowering blood cholesterol. Studies have shown that black tea has the capability of cutting blood lipids for up to 10% in three weeks.
Most animal and solid fats contain saturated fats which raise blood LDL while liquid and other plant oils contain unsaturated fats. Using vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, sesame, sunflower, or soybean oil contain polyunsaturated fats that lower the bad LDL in the blood. Monounsaturated fats, found mainly in canola, olive, or avocado oils raise the good HDL (High-density lipids) and lower the bad LDL.
5- Sterol or Stanol fortified foods
Sterol and Stanol are plant compounds found naturally in small amounts in certain vegetables, fruits, and grains. Foods are fortified with these compounds to help lower LDL in the blood. They aid in preventing absorption of cholesterol which in turn lower blood LDL without affecting the HDLs.
Fruits such as grapes, apple, and citrus fruits are abundant in pectin, a soluble fiber, which prevents cholesterol absorption.
These are high in soluble fibers and low in saturated fats which contribute to lowering LDL. Soy is the only plant-based protein source hence can substitute with animal products hence minimizing exposure to unsaturated animal fat.
8- Green vegetables
Vegetables such as spinach are rich in Lutein which is an important compound that prevents arterial clogging by cholesterol.
Almonds are rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin E. The LDL (low density lipids) present in our blood also known as “bad cholesterol”, can be lowered by the use of almonds. Almonds help to control cholesterol levels in blood.
So, if you want to keep in check and take control of your blood cholesterol levels, adapt to a dietary portfolio of low cholesterol foods and with that, you’ll be miles ahead in preventing most of the lifestyle diseases such as heart problems.