A low fat diet can certainly lower your blood cholesterol. There are several modifications that you can make to your diet that can help such as eating less red meat, dairy products and eggs. But did you know that there are foods that you can eat that will actually help to lower your blood cholesterol? There is quite a varied and delicious list of foods that have been shown to lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of certain diseases and conditions.
Fresh fruits and vegetables should be a standard in your diet. You should have five servings a day. They are most effective on reducing your cholesterol because they are high in soluble fiber which lowers LDL cholesterol. Stars of this group include apples, citrus fruit, carrots, apricots, berries, cabbage, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
Beans and legumes are very high in soluble fiber. Something as simple as adding just 4 ounces, or about ½ cup, of kidney beans, black beans, lima beans or other dried beans each day can reduce your cholesterol. You may want to substitute beans for a serving of meat at one of your meals, thereby reducing your meat (saturated fat) intake with something healthy.
There are a couple of margarines that have ingredients that are called stanol esters and plant sterols. These inhibit the intestines’ ability to absorb cholesterol. Studies have shown that these margarines actually decrease cholesterol levels as much as 10%. These two margarines are Benecol and Take Control and are well worth taking a look.
Nuts are another cholesterol reducing food. Studies have shown that nuts can help lower your cholesterol and even prevent its absorption in the intestines. However, they do tend to be high in calories so you do need to take care in the amount that you eat, but if you substitute them for a serving of meat, you should be OK. Go for unsalted if you need to watch your sodium (which is a good idea anyway).
Oats are an excellent source of soluble fiber and are a great way to lower your cholesterol. 1 ½ cups of oatmeal or 3 cups of dry oats will deliver a significant cholesterol lowering effect. Rice bran and barley are two other grains that are high in soluble fiber.
Soy is an exceptional food for lowering your cholesterol. Two cups of soy milk or 4 ounces of tofu will give you a high powered cholesterol blasting effect. You should try to substitute soy for animal proteins in your diet which can be particularly helpful if you suffer from arthritis. Animal proteins have been linked to irritating arthritic conditions.
Even your cooking oils can help lower you cholesterol. Certain vegetable oils, such as olive (extra virgin, cold pressed), canola, peanut, corn and soy are very beneficial for reducing your cholesterol.
Fish can have a cholesterol lowering effect. You should try to get at least two servings of fish a week. Try substituting fish for meat which can go a long way in helping you reduce your cholesterol.
Garlic is getting rave reviews as being the wonder food that lowers your cholesterol. However, if you want garlic to be effective in reducing your cholesterol level, you must eat it in large quantities - raw.
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