Eat These 7 Foods Daily to Lower Your Cholesterol
Why is LDL bad?
Cholesterol comes in two forms: HDL (high-density lipoporotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein). The consumption of saturated fatty acid has been shown to increase LDL levels, which promotes the formation of atheroma and inflammation in arteries. Atheroma is a cardiovascular disease in which the artery wall thickens due to the accumulation of macrophage cells, calcium, cholesterol, and some fibrous connective tissue on the vessels. This thickening of the artery wall reduces its elasticity and increases arterial blood pressure, which is the main cause of coronary heart disease and other forms of cardiovascular disease.
Scientists and research indicate that the consumption of saturated fatty acid is one of the main causes of cardiovascular diseases. Replacing saturated fatty acid with polyunsaturated fatty acid reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Which foods lower your cholesterol?
Studies have shown that the high ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acid to saturated fatty acid in diet was strongly correlated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. 1, 2, 3 An obvious example is the adoption of the “Mediterranean” diet, which contains a relatively high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acid1 and is associated with the reduction of cardiovascular diseases.4 Foods with a high amount of soluble fiber will also help significantly.
So, try to shop for and eat food that is high in unsaturated fatty acid and soluble fiber. Remember, it must be soluble fiber.
Here are 7 foods that aid in lowering LDL:
- Salmon. You may think you need to stay away from animal-based foods to lower your cholesterol, but salmon is different. Salmon contains a high amount of unsaturated fatty acid (4,123 mg per serving) that could lower LDL and deliver healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Other fish that contain unsaturated fats are mackerel, tuna, sardines, and herring.
- White beans. White beans, like white kidney beans and navy beans, contain a very high amount of dietary fiber. Black beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, and red/light kidney beans, which can be added to salads, soups, or chili, are also great choices to include in your diet. Specifically, 100 grams of beans contain about 16 grams of fiber – 64% of the daily recommended amount!
- Avocado. If you think creamy avocado and guacamole are high in fat, you’re right. What you may not realize, however, is they actually contain a large amount of soluble and insoluble fiber. High-fiber foods rarely taste creamy, so this can be a bit surprising for some. In 146 grams of diced avocado, there are 10 grams of dietary fiber, which is 40% of your daily value.
- Soy. Soy milk, tofu, and tempeh are powerful foods for lowering your cholesterol. The high protein and isoflavone of these soy-based foods can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, as proven in many research studies.
- Whole fruit. There is no better food than whole fruits, especially during the global pandemic. Whole fruits, such as oranges, apples, and berries, not only provide the necessary vitamin C for an immune boost, but also supply the fiber to fight LDL cholesterol. It’s important to eat whole fruit on a daily basis to maintain optimum cholesterol levels.
Yogurt. As a naturally fermented dairy product, yogurt contains billions of beneficial probiotic bacteria. It has been shown that probiotics like lactobacillus acidophilus inhibit the absorption of cholesterol through the intestinal wall. The probiotics in yogurt are also able to modulate the hepatic metabolism and reduce the synthesis of triglycerides.5
- Oat bran. Whole grain oatmeal is a “5-star” food for managing cholesterol and is widely recommended because of its high content of soluble oat beta-glucan.6 Eating a bowl of oatmeal is an easy, healthy way to begin your day. If you simply want the fiber without the starch and calories from oatmeal, oat bran is the best way to go. Oat bran is the outer casing of the oat groat, which is low in saturated fat and a good source of dietary fiber, including soluble fiber.
Traditional oat bran typically contains 10% soluble fiber, which is the active fiber that traps the bile acid/cholesterol and removes it from your body.7 Simply blend 15 grams of oat bran into your morning smoothie and you’ll get 1.5 grams of soluble fiber.
To make your oat bran consumption easier, check out our newly developed BranPure™ Oat Bran. It contains a massive 28% of soluble oat beta-glucan. Each scoop of BranPure™ contains 5.4 grams of oat bran and 1.5 grams of soluble oat beta-glucan. It also comes in capsules!
Check out the fiber content of BranPure™:
Traditional Oat Brans
Total Fiber Content
Soluble Fiber Content
As you can see, high cholesterol levels are a contributing risk factor for heart disease. Luckily, you can lower your LDL by adding certain healthy foods to your diet and by practicing mindful eating.
- De Lorgeril, M.; Renaud, S.; Salen, P.; Monjaud, I.; Mamelle, N.; Martin, J.; Guidollet, J.; Touboul, P.; Delaye, J., Mediterranean alpha-linolenic acid-rich diet in secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. The Lancet 1994, 343, 1454-1459.
- Laaksonen, D. E.; Nyyssönen, K.; Niskanen, L.; Rissanen, T. H.; Salonen, J. T., Prediction of cardiovascular mortality in middle-aged men by dietary and serum linoleic and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Archives of internal medicine 2005, 165, 193-199.
- Simopoulos, A. P., The importance of the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio in cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Experimental biology and medicine 2008, 233, 674-688.
- Panagiotakos, D. B.; Polychronopoulos, E., The role of Mediterranean diet in the epidemiology of metabolic syndrome; converting epidemiology to clinical practice. Lipids in Health and Disease 2005, 4, 1-6.
- Gibson, G. R.; Roberfroid, M. B., Colonic microbiota, nutrition and health. Springer: 1999.
- Lia, A.; Hallmans, G.; Sandberg, A.-S.; Sundberg, B.; Aman, P.; Andersson, H., Oat beta-glucan increases bile acid excretion and a fiber-rich barley fraction increases cholesterol excretion in ileostomy subjects. The American journal of clinical nutrition 1995, 62, 1245-1251.
- Ney, D. M.; Lasekan, J. B.; Shinnick, F. L., Soluble oat fiber tends to normalize lipoprotein composition in cholesterol-fed rats. The Journal of nutrition 1988, 118, 1455-1462.
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