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Suffering from high levels of bad cholesterol is the precedent par excellence of cardiovascular diseases. In such a way that he has become popular for being the villain of stories about heart health. While it is true that the body naturally creates some cholesterol, we add the rest through the food we eat. Not all foods contain cholesterolIn fact, some foods have the ability to lower the cholesterol content in the blood. Also, as in everything there is a counterpart and there are numerous foods rich in saturated, trans, fried, sugary and processed fats, which are considered one of the main causes. Fortunately, There are exceptional natural foods that shine for their cholesterol-lowering benefits in a number of ways: some supply soluble fiber that binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and flushes them out of the body before they enter circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower bad “LDL” cholesterol. And others contain plant sterols and stanols, which prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol.
In addition, it is well known that lifestyle and quality of diet are aspects that play an essential role in cardiovascular health. According to Harvard specialists, betting on the consumption of natural foods rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, is essential for naturally balance cholesterol and strengthen the heart. Discover what are the foods that simply cannot be missing in the diet of people with hypercholestrolemia, best of all, they are associated with exceptional benefits for general health.
Oatmeal is considered one of the healthiest superfoods of all time. It is one of the whole grains with the greatest cardioprotective properties, which is related in principle to its high fiber content. Harvard experts recommend substituting breakfast cereals for a bowl of oatmeal with a banana or some strawberries, it is a great dietary habit that provides almost 3 grams of soluble dietary fiber. The main type of soluble fiber in oats is beta-glucan (β-glucan), a substance that has been endorsed its benefits to help slow digestion, increase satiety and suppress appetite. Additionally, beta-glucan can bind to cholesterol-rich bile acids in the gut, transporting them through the digestive tract, and eventually out of the body. Current nutrition guidelines recommend consuming 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day, with at least 5 to 10 grams coming from soluble fiber.
2. Whole grains
Whole grain cereals are a great addition to any balanced and healthy diet, as well as being one of the best sources to increase carbohydrate intake. In such a way that betting on the consumption of products such as oats, oat bran, quinoa, barley and whole wheat, is key to reducing the risk of heart disease, mainly through the soluble fiber they provide. Of the wide range of whole grains, barley is one of the best sources of fiber. A cup of pearl barley has 6 grams of fiber and only 193 calories.
Legumes are foods that shine for their cardioprotective qualities, specifically Harvard experts recommend betting on beans as they are the best ally to keep hunger at bay. What’s more, they are especially rich in soluble fiber. Since beans take a while to digest, the body will feel full longer after a meal, which is a great help for weight loss. Best of all, they are extremely versatile, they go great in soups, salads, creams, ceviches and stews. Bet on combining them with vegetables, herbs such as coriander and healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil and avocado.
It is well known that eggplants are one of the best vegetables to reduce high levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood and again the main reason is that they represent a superb source of soluble fiber low in calories. They are very accessible and easy to prepare, they go well roasted, grilled, pureed, with hummus and olive oil, and sliced in sheets are the perfect substitute for pasta for a rich lasagna.
It is one of the most recommended foods in any healthy diet, nuts are a good source of unsaturated fat and are lower in saturated fat, the perfect combination of factors to keep cholesterol under control. According to Harvard, eating 2 ounces of walnuts a day can slightly lower LDL by 5-10%. Numerous studies have shown that walnuts contain fiber that can help prevent some of the cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream from the intestine, as well as protein, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, natural plant sterols, and other plant nutrients that help maintain healthy body and heart.
It is no secret to say that fruits are essential in any balanced and healthy diet, although many myths have arisen about their sugar content. Seasonal fruits represent one of the best sources of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and especially fiberThe consumption of fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, avocados, papaya, is particularly recommended; These fruits are the richest in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that reduces LDL. They are also of great help to calm the appetite and cravings for sugary foods, they are satiating and a great ally in weight loss.
7. Vegetable oils
Animal fats and oils contain cholesterol, which is why betting on the consumption of vegetable oils is a good recommendation to control cholesterol and prevent it from rising. In stark contrast, canola oil, which is derived from rapeseed, contains the “good fats” unlike other oils that are highly refined and processed. It is also cholesterol-free and, in fact, rich in vitamins like E and K. In particular, Harvard recommends using liquid vegetable oils such as olive, avocado, canola, sunflower, safflower, and others instead of butter, lard, or shortening when cooking.
Soy and the most famous derived products such as tofu and soy milk, have for years been positioned as a powerful way to lower cholesterol. According to the Mayo Clinic, eating soy-based foods can slightly lower your level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol. They are also a great source of plant-based protein and a good replacement for certain animal-based foods. They contain less saturated fat than meat and also provide other beneficial nutrientss, such as good fats (monounsaturated fats), vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
9. Fatty fish
According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, the strongest evidence for a beneficial effect of omega-3 fats has to do with heart disease. These fats are associated with great cardioprotective qualities, regulate the heartbeat and protect it. In addition, they are substances that are related to great benefits for reduce high blood pressure and stabilize the heart rate. They improve blood vessel function and, in higher doses, lower triglycerides and can alleviate inflammation, which plays a role in the development of atherosclerosis.
10. Fiber supplements
Without a doubt the most important nutrient for lowering cholesterol is fiber, according to the report published by Harvard Health Publishing, fiber supplements offer the least attractive way to get soluble fiber. Two teaspoons a day of psyllium (seeds with great laxative potential that are used as a dietary supplement in capsules or powder) provide approximately 4 grams of soluble fiber. They are a great alternative for people who cannot consume enough fiber through foods such as fruits and vegetables.
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