Here is Your List of cholesterol lowering foods
Let’s assume that you know what the numbers mean when you get your cholesterol blood test results back from your doctor, and lets go straight to the list of cholesterol lowering foods. If this is a wrong assumption, then, sorry, but just take a look at the other pages of this site to find out more about what the numbers mean. But for now, you know that your cholesterol levels have not made your doctor happy, and his concern is making you a little worried.
What can you do about it? Fortunately, there are foods that you can eat which will reduce your LDL cholesterol level, that is your Low Density Lipoproteins (ie the bad cholesterol), and others that increase your HDL, the High Density Lipoproteins or the good cholesterol, and this is without prescription medications. Obviously, if you can get your cholesterol under control without medications, that is way better for you, and should you have problems in the future, then you can always use drugs then if your doctor recommends this for you.
First of all, we all know the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, well it turns out that apples contain pectin which is a soluble fibre. This helps to remove the excess cholesterol out of the bloodstream along with apples also containing anti-oxidants. So, keep eating apples, and that will help with lowering your cholesterol.
The next food to look at is legumes, or in other words, dried beans peas and lentils. These are high in protein, despite being vegetables, and also soluble fibre. Because of this, legumes become a good substitute for red meat which is high in saturated fat, and therefore not good to be eaten regularly or in high volumes.
Legumes unfortunately do cause a lot of gas, but the Mayo Clinic has a tip to reduce this. Place the legumes in a large pan containing 10 cups (or more) of boiling water for one pound of legumes, and boil them for just 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside, and cover the pan overnight, and the next day some 75 – 90% of the indigestible sugars which cause the gas will have been dissolved into the water. Drain the water away, and cook the legumes thoroughly until soft to touch.
Canned legumes are good to use if you don’t have time to soak or cook the dried version, so they are very useful to have in the cupboards. Before using, drain the liquid they have been packed in, and rinse the beans thoroughly to remove sodium that is added during processing.
Now, whole brown rice is a good food to eat, as it too can lower cholesterol, and it is a good food to combine with legumes to make inexpensive meals. These are good to have instead of eating red meat, and yet the legumes still give you the protein you need for maintaining healthy bones, tendons, muscles, hair, blood and your internal organs.
Cinnamon has been said to reduce blood sugar significantly for type 2 diabetes people, and it has been said that cinnamon also lowers cholesterol. However, this has not yet been proven with adequate research. The same can be said of garlic, but again the research has not substantiated that claim as yet.
Oat meal and oat bran are good foods to eat, and these have been shown to lower cholesterol significantly. Oatmeal contains soluble fibre, so again it is good for the body, and by eating just one and a half cups of oatmeal a day, it will provide your body with 4 to 5 grams of fibre, which is enough to start lowering your cholesterol. In fact, if you eat a banana with that, the banana adds another 4 grams of fibre so that in just one meal you have had the recommended daily fibre , and this will start reducing your cholesterol levels.
Grapes also contain flavonoids that are said to lower cholesterol, especially red grapes. If you recall, red wine is said to be good for you, in moderation, of course.
Fish plays an important role in your diet because of the omega-3 fatty acids they contain. The Heart and Stroke Association recommends eating fish at least 2 or 3 times every week, and in particular the fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, tuna, anchovies and herring. While fish capsules can help to some extent, eating the fish itself is recommended, as they contain other nutrients that are good for our bodies.
Soybeans and other soy products such as soy nuts, tofu and Tempe along with soy milk, contain proteins, and it is a good way of getting proteins without eating animal fat. Soybeans are rich in isoflavones and soluble fibre, and can help to lower your LDLs which are the bad cholesterol while raising your HDLs, the good cholesterol, which is just what you want to achieve.
Nuts are great for reducing your bad cholesterol or LDLs because they are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Walnuts in particular are said to keep the arteries elastic and healthy, almonds too, and can bring about changes in as little as four weeks. These nuts, along with peanuts, hazelnuts and pecans, are useful to eat as snacks, but do be aware that eating more than a handful each day can lead to you gaining weight, which is not to be recommended for most people! Research suggests that by eating one third of a cup of walnuts every day may be lower your LDL cholesterol by 12%, which means it is definitely worth a try.
So to summarize, eat walnuts daily, fish 2 or 3 times a week, oatmeal and banana daily, and legumes with rice once a week as well, with soybeans if possible, and don’t forget to eat an apple a day too. By eating the foods on this list you will be well on your way to lowering your LDL cholesterol, which is the aim of this diet, and you will be a lot healthier for it too.