Lower Cholesterol Naturally
Reducing saturated fat is the single most important dietary change you can make to cut blood cholesterol. Why is saturated fat so bad for your heart? The liver uses saturated fat to make cholesterol, so eating foods with too much saturated fat can increase cholesterol levels, especially low-density lipoproteins (LDL)—the bad cholesterol. Saturated fats are usually found in animal products such as whole milk, cream, butter, and cheese, and meats, such as beef, lamb and pork. There are some plant-based saturated fats you should avoid too, notably palm kernel oil.
The American Heart Association links saturated fats to increased cholesterol levels, which can up your risk of heart disease and stroke. Chips made with palm oil contain 75 percent more saturated fat than chips made with sunflower or canola oil! The bottom line is that palm oil is a cheap, unhealthy fat that is primarily used by companies to increase profits. Unfortunately, palm oil is found in a variety of products.
Here are 3 ways to avoid palm oil:
1. The most common name palm oil is disguised under is “vegetable oil.”
2. Most prepackaged snack foods made by corporate giants (Nestle, Unilever, etc.) contain palm oil.
3. To avoid palm oil, choose products that contain clearly labeled oils, such as 100-percent sunflower oil, corn oil, olive oil, coconut oil or canola oil.
Foods That Lower Cholesterol Naturally
What you do eat is also important in decreasing “bad” LDL cholesterol and raising “good” HDL cholesterol. Here’s list of cholesterol-slashing superfoods with science on their side:
The FDA recommends getting at least 25 grams of soy protein each day. Consuming 25 grams of soy protein daily lowers high cholesterol.
What about soy supplements? Research shows that isoflavone supplements alone don’t work. To lower cholesterol, you need the whole soybean with its unique protein, phytates, and isoflavones, which may all act together.
Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol.
Five to 10 grams or more of soluble fiber a day decreases your total and LDL cholesterol. Eating 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal provides 6 grams of fiber.
Fish and omega-3 fatty acids. You should bake or grill the fish to avoid adding unhealthy fats.
If you decide to take a supplement, talk to your doctor about how much you should take.
Rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy. Eating about a handful (1.5 ounces, or 42.5 grams) a day. Make sure the nuts you eat aren’t salted or coated with sugar. Instead of using cheese, meat or croutons in your salad, add a handful of walnuts or almonds.
According to a recent study, adding an avocado a day to a heart-healthy diet can help improve LDL levels in people who are overweight or obese. Try adding avocado slices to salads and sandwiches or eating them as a side dish.
Researchers at Arizona State University Polytechnic found that adding ½ cup of beans to soup lowers total cholesterol, including LDL, by up to 8%.
Garlic has been found to lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure, and protect against infections.
Olive oil is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which lower LDL cholesterol—and have the welcome side effect of trimming belly fat. Try using about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil a day in place of other fats in your diet to get its heart-healthy benefits.
According to a new meta-analysis of 14 studies, green tea significantly reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels (by 7.20 mg/dL and 2.19 mg/dL, respectively).