Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cholesterol Lowering Foods - Important Health Issue

Cholesterol Lowering Foods

Cholesterol is an important health issue because it has a hand in one’s death. Cholesterol is a preventable part of heart disease. With a good eating habit and exercise cholesterol can be lowered. What one must know is the correct foods to eat to help lower the bad cholesterol. It is more than just a diet because not all diets work. What will lower bad cholesterol is eating the right meat, vegetables, and fruits. The bigger picture is eating the right foods in moderation. Quantity is more important with cholesterol then just quality.

Fiber – this is an important soluble in any diet and keeps one full longer. Oatmeal contains enough fiber with a fruit to keep the full until the next meal and helps to reduce the bad cholesterol otherwise known as low-density lipoprotein. Other fiber foods that help reduce cholesterol are kidney beans, apples, prunes, barley, pears and even bananas. Getting about 10 grams of fiber a day helps lower cholesterol.

Fish and Omega-3 fatty acids – eating the fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are not only good for cholesterol but reducing the blood pressure and reducing the risk of having blood clots in the blood. This is a very heart-healthy food. The other food item that can be bought in stores is an omega-3 egg. But do limit eggs to either egg white or cholesterol-free eggs. For those vegetarians there is an item that can be bought in health food stores that has omega-3 fatty acids as well. This item is fish oil which helps in reducing the risk of death. Doctors recommend eating 2 servings of fish or omega-3 fatty acids a day. Salmon is one of seven types of fish that are high in this acid.

Nuts like almonds and walnuts – nuts are a good source of food to help reduce cholesterol through their nutrients of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These acids are like the omega-3 fatty acids and help reduce the risk of heart disease. Do not overdo this type of food because nuts are high in calories so eating just a few to a handful a day is good enough. Walnuts and almonds are good in salad which helps fight weight issues.

Olive oil – Olive oil is a good source for antioxidants. Antioxidants not only reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL), leaves ther good (HDL) cholesterol alone, but also help to reduce stroke, heart attack, cancer, and coronary heart disease. The best kind of olive oil to buy is extra-virgin olive oil, which has more antioxidants then normal olive oil. The doctors and the Food and Drug Administration do recommend indulging about 2 tablespoons of olive oil with salads, marinade, sautéed vegetables, basting, or even as a substitute for butter. It is not recommended to indulge with more then 2 tablespoons of either olive oil or extra-virgin olive oil because it is high in calories.

There are substances found in a natural food like plants that help absorb cholesterol. These substances are called sterols and stanols. These substances do not touch the good or bad cholesterol. These are needed for a healthy diet to not only help lower the bad cholesterol but also a healthy diet that have their own health benefits like the antioxidants. The one thing that one should not forget is to exercise as well.

One of the best fruits to eat that are not only a good fruit as a snack but also have their own health benefits are blueberries. Blueberries are high in antioxidants. Also, a good benefit to a healthy diet are leafy green vegetables like spinach, mustard greens and collard greens even vegetables like squash and sweet potatoes. Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C and E.

Any diet, including one for lowering cholesterol, needs portioned fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, legumes, and milk. Also for a heart healthy diet that would help to lower cholesterol is buying whole grain items like bread and whole grain crackers. This also includes whole-wheat flour, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta.

Choose milk by-products like yogurt and cheese that are fat-free or low in fat. Eat and drink in moderation because of fat content. Calcium is needed in any diet including in a diet for lowering cholesterol. Losing bone density in any diet is not a good thing. Choose 1%-2% low fat milk by-products which are still good for calcium. If you are trying to limit milk products, the one item to get calcium from are cereals, juices, soy products, rice products, canned fish, dark leafy greens, or even some beans.

Lower not only the fat content but also fried foods. This is a heart healthy conscious deal with all diets including one for lowering cholesterol. A high fat content in food clogs arteries and raises risks for heart disease.

Another heart healthy aspect of dieting is potassium. Potassium is found in prunes, bananas, dried peaches (ate in moderation), cantaloupe and melons, like the honeydew, and apricots. Always go with lean or low-fat foods and poach, broil, grill, boil or roasting instead of frying because as it was found out earlier frying is high in bad fats.

If fruits and fibers give one a sweet tooth than give the diet a sweet kick with a form of the cocoa bean. Dark chocolate has more antioxidants associated with it than milk chocolate. But as always, eat chocolate in moderation because of the calorie and fat content in most chocolate.

No diet is perfect. A diet should be a mixture of foods like fish, green vegetables like peas, grains, fruits and a glass or two of red wine to give extra iron in any diet. Another diet option is poultry, with dark leafy vegetables, strawberries, yoke free pasta salad with a splash of extra-virgin olive oil. These options help to lower cholesterol and help with heart health, as well. A low cholesterol diet is not a diet without exercise, walking is one good exercise to compensate.

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