Cholesterol, a life threatening disease, is one of the greatest threats of modern life, with its constant everyday pressures. This disease has been a major contributing factor towards increased risk of heart problems.
Although various other factors like family history, age, stress levels too play an important part, with a few healthy lifestyle changes, and by eating right, one can overcome this threat.
Foods To Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Rich in oleic acid, avocados are great sources of heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which raise HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol, preventing heart disease and diabetes. Besides this, the creamy rich fruit also contains a plant-based fat, Beta-sitosterol that helps reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food. With 300 calories and 30 grams fat per fruit, take them in moderation.
Olive oil loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids that are heart friendly, lower the LDL cholesterols and help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
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Fatty fish as salmon, halibut, tuna, sardines and herring are excellent sources of protein and omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that prevent blood from clotting and lower triglyceride levels. These help raise the HDL cholesterol levels up to 4%. Apart from keeping cholesterol levels healthy, omega 3 fatty acids prevent heart diseases, dementia and a host of other diseases.
A great vegetarian alternative for fish, flaxseeds are rich in alpha-linolenic polyunsaturated fats that keep cholesterol levels healthy and heart diseases at bay.
Nuts high in plant sterols and fats, predominantly, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, lower LDL cholesterol, therefore get cracking on nuts since they are rich in fibre, phytonutrients and antioxidants, vitamin E and selenium. These help reverse the arterial damage caused by saturated fats. They make great additions to breakfast cereals and taking half an ounce of nuts everyday proves to be a healthy option.
Beans And Lentils
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Beans lentils and peas are great sources of soluble fibre, protein and low in fat. They contain lecithin, a nutrient that helps lower cholesterol levels.
Rich in Pectin, a soluble fibre, and potent antioxidants like Phloridzin and chlorogenic acid, catechin and quercetin apples lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol in the blood.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, Swiss chard and collard greens contain fibre and lutein, a cartotenoid with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that apart from lowering LDL cholesterol prevents clotting of blood, thereby averting heart attacks.
Berries prevent Atherosclerosis and reduce risk of heart disease. Blue berries contain Pterostilbene, an antioxidant that help keep cholesterol levels healthy. They are also rich in heart healthy vitamins and soluble fibre. Goji berries increase production of superoxide Dismutase (SOD) an antioxidant that prevents cholesterol oxidation.
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Garlic contains an active substance, Allicin that protects against infections, reduce hypertension, prevent formation of blood clots and cholesterol particles from sticking to the arterial walls thus lowering cholesterol levels.
Five to ten grams of soluble fibre a day reduce cholesterol levels to about 5%. Studies reveal that people whose diet consisted predominantly of whole grains had the thinnest artery wall and showed the slowest development of arterial wall thickness, preventing atherosclerosis. These contain Beta glucans that keep cholesterol levels healthy.
Eritadenine, an active substance in shitake mushrooms helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Another substance lentinan, apart from lowering cholesterol contains anticancer properties and promote a healthy immune system.
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