Foods to lower cholesterol. Do you know them?
Find out what kind of foods are most used to maintain or lower cholesterol.
If you are looking for a solution to lower your cholesterol levels, then what better to start with those actions that are under your control?
As you know, cholesterol is a substance present throughout our body and is responsible for regulating functions as important as the formation of bile acids and even some types of hormones. It is undoubtedly a necessary component for the proper functioning of our body, but if its presence in the blood is above normal levels, it produces hypercholesterolemia, a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD).
However, keeping it under control is not as complicated as some people think and it is not necessary to resort to medication, unless it is clear that your doctor indicates it.
The first thing is to start with a healthy and balanced diet, where fruits and vegetables predominate, as well as cereals that provide fiber to your body. Here we leave some foods that will help you reduce your cholesterol in a healthy and natural way.
The most effective foods to lower cholesterol are those that have large amounts of soluble fiber and peptin, since these bind cholesterol in the intestine, favoring its elimination through faeces. Thus, the recommendation is always to choose foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, in addition to stanols and sterols, vegetable compounds that inhibit the absorption of cholesterol at the intestinal level.
Here some foods that contain these properties and that if you combine between them you will achieve a balanced diet that will help you reduce your cholesterol.
This is one of the favorite fruits of Chileans, due to its versatility and great flavor. It is known for its high fiber content and for being rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which help reduce LDL cholesterol levels. But that is not all, since clinical studies have observed that including avocado in the diet favors the decrease of total cholesterol between 9 and 45%, especially in those who have hypercholesterolemia.
In addition, avocado is the fruit with the highest content of stanols and sterols that exists. And we already know that these components inhibit the absorption of cholesterol at the intestinal level.
The recommendation is to consume between ½ to 1 ½ avocado a day during the main meal to help reduce cholesterol.
What else can you ask for this wonderful fruit?
Other foods that benefit your body and help reduce cholesterol are whole grains. To date, several studies have been carried out to confirm the relationship between the consumption of whole grains and the reduction of blood cholesterol, so you should always consider them in your diet.
Now if you want to choose between all the whole grains, there is one in particular that can help you more to lower your cholesterol levels: oats.
If you add between 70-100 g of oatmeal daily to your diet – in your breakfast for example – you will be contributing 63% of the recommended daily dose of fiber. This way you can reduce your cholesterol levels considerably. Moreover, its effectiveness is such that after consuming it for six weeks you can see how your LDL cholesterol decreases.
You can incorporate more fiber into your diet by consuming other whole grains for example in bread, pasta or also brown rice.
Nuts are one of the few plant foods that, despite their high percentage of fat, effectively regulate cholesterol. That’s why it’s good that you incorporate them into your diet either as a mid-morning snack, as an ingredient in one of your meals or as you prefer.
Among the nuts you can choose nuts, peanuts, pistachios, almonds, but above all the best is the macadamia nut. This nut can reduce your LDL cholesterol levels by 4% and that’s not all! At the same time, this fruit increases HDL cholesterol by 7% after 4 weeks of consuming it daily.
The recommendation is that you eat about 40 grams (a handful) of toasted nuts without salt and better if you do it during breakfast.
You’ve probably heard how important it is to eat vegetables at least a couple of times a week. Well, here we will give you another reason to include them in your diet.
Since legumes are very rich in fiber, they are a food that can also help you take care of your heart. Lentils, for example, reduce your LDL cholesterol and like the macadamia nut, they also increase your HDL cholesterol, helping to improve your cardiovascular health.
Peas are also very good for your health since they decrease total cholesterol levels by up to 5% and LDL by 8%. However, if you are looking for the best legume to reduce your cholesterol, then you should turn to soy.
Soy is a legume rich in oils and with a high protein content. Likewise, it is the legume with the greatest effectiveness in terms of reducing cholesterol. Consuming it, in its natural form or its derivatives (tofu or milk, for example) allows you to lower total cholesterol by 11%, while LDL cholesterol can fall between 5 and 25%. This, coupled with its ability to increase HDL cholesterol levels make it the best ally for your heart.
To take adventage of soybeans, we recommend eating between 11 and 50 grams of soybeans or the legume you want. Soya, peas, lentils, etc. They provide 60% of the recommended daily dose of fiber. Include them in your menu 3 times a week and you will see how your cardiovascular health improves.
It is always good to look at the colors of your plate before eating it. Why? Well, a balanced meal has many colors in it, since the key is to eat foods that provide different vitamins and minerals to our body, and their colors give you an indication of their properties.
Green leafy vegetables contain a high percentage of stanols and sterols, which inhibit cholesterol absorption at the intestinal level. For example, spinach is an excellent ally to reduce cholesterol, especially if your diet is very rich in fats because it favors the elimination of cholesterol in the faeces.
Also, we recommend using olive oil in your meals as it is also rich in sterols, which reduce LDL cholesterol to 14 mg / dL. You just have to make sure it’s extra virgin to take advantage of its properties.
Other vegetables, such as broccoli, also have excellent benefits for hypercholesterolemic, thanks to its high fiber content. And if you have any doubt about the power of fiber, as an extra piece of information we tell you that it not only helps to expel cholesterol from the body. Well, when this happens, the liver needs more cholesterol to produce more bile salts, so it resorts to LDL cholesterol, further decreasing its concentration in the blood.
Omega-3 and the natural inhibitors of HMG-CoA
During the production of cholesterol in our body are involved, in addition to lipoproteins and cells, some enzymes including HMG-CoA reductase (officially abbreviated as HMGCR). This is the enzyme that controls the speed of the mevalonate pathway, that is, the metabolic pathway that produces cholesterol.
Some foods very rich in long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, also called Omega-3, have the function of inhibiting HMG-CoA, decreasing the production of cholesterol.
Omega-3-rich foods include flaxseed, chia, spinach, radish, germinated alfalfa, some sprouted legumes, as well as seed oils and nuts.
Another natural inhibitor of the enzyme HMG-CoA are lycopenes, which are present in fruits such as guava, grapefruit, watermelon and tomato (especially if it is dehydrated in the sun). These can lower cholesterol up to 10% by consuming between 25 and 35 milligrams daily. To give you a clearer idea of the serving, 100 gr of dehydrated tomato contains 45 milligrams of lycopene.
Foods rich in anthocyanins
We have already commented on the importance of your meals having different colors, since the pigmentation of these also indicates their properties. For example, the green color of coriander is due to the presence of chlorophyll; the orange color of the squash is due to the fact that it contains carotenes; while the purple of aubergines or blueberries is due to anthocyanins.
So, what are anthocyanins? As they are the pigments responsible for some fruits, vegetables, flowers and leaves have bright and attractive colors such as red, orange, blue and purple.
But in addition to having beautiful colors, fruits and vegetables that contain anthocyanins also have the ability to reduce LDL cholesterol levels between 16 and 25% in people with hypercholesterolemia. Therefore, if your cholesterol levels are triggered and you are hypercholesterolemic, you should consume 100 grams per day of foods rich in anthocyanins such as raspberries, blueberries, cherries, blackberries, aubergines, purple cabbage, etc.
According to research published in the European Journal of Nutrition, eating two apples a day will help slow down the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This is because they contain antioxidant polyphenols in their skin … so do not peel!
Cardiosmile: helps reduce your cholesterol
If you want to lower your cholesterol levels in a healthy and natural way, in addition to all the foods that we have already mentioned, you can supplement your diet with Cardiosmile.
Cardiosmile is a natural food free of sugar, sodium, gluten, calories, fats and lactose, so anyone can consume it and do not need a prescription to buy it.
This product based on phytosterols has no smell or taste, so you can add it to the food you prefer without losing its flavor. Cardiosmile has no proven side effects and in a clinical study showed that LDL cholesterol decreases by 12% and triglycerides by 14% *.
Cardiosmile is recommended by the foundation of the Chilean Society of Cardiology and can be consumed by adults and children from 5 years.
Dare to improve your cardiovascular health consuming a sachet a day and check your results.
* AS SEEN IN THE CLINICAL STUDY OF AMIR SHAGHAGHI, ET AL. 2014. J FUNCT FOODS. 6: 280-289