High cholesterol levels can raise your risks for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Fortunately, changing your diet can help lower bad cholesterol levels without medication. Here are the simple and effective changes in diet that will help you lower your total and bad cholesterol.
Diet To Help Lower Total and Bad Cholesterol
Eat foods rich in soluble fiber
Beans, legumes, whole grains, flaxseed, apples, and citrus fruits are excellent sources of soluble fiber in large quantities.
Soluble fiber pass through your digestive tract. It absorbs water and forms a thick gel-like substance. As this passes through the intestines, it absorbs bile composed of cholesterol.
Studies have shown that regular intake of soluble fiber is linked to a decline of five to ten percent in both total and bad cholesterol (LDL) in just four weeks. It is recommended to consume at least five to ten grams of soluble fiber a day for maximum cholesterol-lowering effects.
Eat unsaturated fats.
Fats in food are of two main types: saturated fat, which is solid fat at room temperature, and unsaturated fat, which remains liquid at room temperature.
Unsaturated fat is contained in foods such as avocados, olives, nuts, and fatty fish.
Studies have found that swapping saturated fats for unsaturated fats can lower total cholesterol by nine percent and LDL cholesterol by eleven percent in just eight weeks.
That explains why doctors advise eating unsaturated fats instead of saturated because people who eat more unsaturated fats and less saturated fats have reduced cholesterol levels over time.
Avoid artificial trans fats.
The leading source of most trans fats is processed foods. Most food manufacturers and many restaurants use saturated fat because it is much cheaper. But the thing which is very bad about this is that during manufacturing or cooking, this converts into trans-fat.
The leading culprit is synthetic trans fat. This type is produced by hydrogen or by adding hydrogen to saturated fats like vegetable oils to change their structure that solidify at room temperature.
Various studies have found that eating artificial trans fats raises bad cholesterol and reduces good cholesterol, amplifying the risk of heart disease by 23%.
Eat less added sugars.
A study found that adults who consumed 25% of their calories from drinks made with high-fructose corn syrup experienced a 17% increase in bad cholesterol in just two weeks. As per another 14-year study, such people were almost three times more likely to die from heart disease compared to those who consumed less than ten percent of their calories from added sugars.
There is a diet called the Mediterranean diet that follows the above recommendations. It includes plenty of unsaturated fats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, herbs, spices, fiber, fish, small amounts of red and white meat and dairy products, and moderate alcohol consumption.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq – Best Fitness Guru, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”