We all know that some of our favorite things to eat can cause your cholesterol numbers to look bad but, did you know that there are actually some foods that will LOWER your bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol?
You may be surprised to see how many of these foods you already know and like…
In addition to the iron that made Popeye so strong, spinach also contains tons of lutein. Lutein is the yellow pigment found in dark green leafy vegetables as well as egg yolks.
Already known to be a guard against the macular degeneration caused by age, research now shows that even just a ½ cup of a lutein-rich food every day will help our artery walls get rid of the LDL cholesterol that can clog them. Whether eaten raw in a salad or cooked into a main course or side dish, the benefits of spinach seem to be endless.
Avocados Pears (yes, they are actually a fruit in the pear family) are a tasty source of monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs. These plant-based fats are thought to actually raise HDL and lower LDL. Plus, they include extra beta-sitosterol, a fantastic plant-based fat that lowers the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food.
They are good when added to an egg dish, mashed into a dip, or when properly ripened, spread onto toast or a bagel with a little sea salt sprinkled on top.
Mom knew what she was doing when she served oatmeal in the mornings. Two servings of oats can lower LDL up to 5% in less than 2 months. You can thank beta-glucan for this. Beta-glucan is known to absorb LDL, which your body then excretes. Just be careful what your top your favorite morning meal with. If you need some extra flavor but want to avoid the traditional brown sugar, try blueberries and/or a banana. Add more variety by using what’s in season at your local Farmer’s Market.
Beans are a great source of vitamins and minerals, as well as being full of the fiber that can help reduce the rate of cholesterol absorption. While black beans are reported to have the most antioxidants in addition to the fiber and protein, there are a number of other varieties available on the market including Red, Kidney, Pinto, Adzuki, navy, Cannellini and more.
Krill, Salman, Sardines, and Herring. Oh, My!
Omega-3s, one of the health wonders of the world are recommended to prevent a number of conditions and diseases, including lowering your cholesterol. Consuming Omega-3s from krill oil and fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and herring can improve good cholesterol up to 4%.
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Not just a tasty snack. Whole walnuts, Almonds, and Cashews are all excellent options when working to get your cholesterol numbers improves. Just remember, they can be higher in calories, so pay attention to portion control.
Three Cheers for (Dark) Chocolate. Chocolate has been reported to raise HDL levels as well as provide a good source of antioxidants. The catch? To get the full benefits, use dark or bittersweet chocolate. Compared to the popular milk chocolate blend, dark has more than 3 times as many antioxidants.
Now that you know what foods can help your cholesterol numbers improve, think about what you eat on a regular basis that already incorporates them into your diet. You may be surprised. Next, plan ways you can increase the use of those foods in different ways while decreasing the food items and snacks that may be hurting you. This can be a very easy way to get on the right path to healthy eating.