Heart disease is one of the main causes of death in the country. Anyone who has high cholesterol levels, especially LDL, is at an increased risk of a heart disease. However, your diet can mitigate the risk and help you lead a healthy life. Here are the foods to eat for lowering cholesterol.
1. Legumes – beans, peas, and lentils
Also known as pulses, these plant-based foods are a good source of fiber, minerals, and proteins. When you include legumes in your diet, you will be able to replace some processed meats and refined grains that help in lowering the risk of a chronic heart condition.
Avocados contain a powerhouse of nutrients and are considered to be a rich source of monosaturated fat and fiber. These two nutrients can help keep LDL in check and increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) that improves heart function. There has been plenty of research that supports avocados ability to reduce cholesterol.
Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, are nutrient-dense foods that contain high amounts of monosaturated fats. Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that is known to improve heart health. Almonds, on the other hand, are rich in amino acid L-arginine that stimulates the production of nitric oxide that in turn regulates blood pressure.
Health experts also explain that nuts provide phytosterols, which is a plant compound with a structure similar to cholesterol. It helps in lowering cholesterol level by preventing its absorption in the intestines. Other than that, nuts contain magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which also help reduce blood pressure and reduce the risk of a heart disease. Including at least one serving of nuts can reduce the risk of a fatal or non-fatal heart disease by 28%.
4. Oats and barley
Whole grains like oats and barley can help lower heart disease risk. In fact, studies claim that consuming three servings of whole grains can reduce the risk of heart attack or a stroke by 20%. Oats and barley also contain a type of soluble fiber, beta-glucan, which can lower cholesterol.
Fruits contain soluble fiber that can reduce the cholesterol levels significantly. Pectin founds in fruits, such as apples, grapes, strawberries, and fruits, can lower your cholesterol levels by 10%. Fruits also contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent chronic heart diseases.
6. Dark chocolate
Cocoa found in dark chocolate can lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and also keep blood pressure levels in check. Flavonoids present in dark chocolate help reverse the damage caused due to free radicals.