Managing Cholesterol Through Food Choices
Can a big bowl of strawberries help decrease cholesterol levels? What about a fistful of walnuts and a generous helping of beans? Yes! Making a few alterations and improvements in your daily diet can help you bring down your ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Monitoring and switching foods that you eat can reduce your cholesterol level and improve the fat drifting in the bloodstream. Incorporating specific foods which lower LDL(the damaging cholesterol that is instrumental in causing blockages in the arteries) is the most optimal way to achieve the desired lipid profile.
Saturated fats - butter, cheese and those found in meat - increase your cholesterol level considerably. When you cut back on the consumption of these foods, it facilitates a reduction in the LDL cholesterol appreciably. Another massive culprit is the trans fats, found in margarine and packaged food. It is prudent to eliminate these from your diet regimen to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Add these foods to lower your cholesterol
A diet that incorporates more plant-based food could lower LDL sizeably and here are some options.
- Oats: Include a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast every morning. Brimming with fibre which is high in beta-glucan, oats slash cholesterol levels by binding bile acids and getting rid of them via feces. What’s more, the polyunsaturated fatty acids have a big say in the cholesterol-reducing effects of oats.
- Beans: The major health benefit of beans is their cholesterol-lowering fibre content. Rajma, chana, moong and other dals take a while to digest, consequently, helping you stay satiated for longer after a meal. The fibre helps decrease lipid levels in the body as well as maintains normal blood sugar levels.
- Eggplant: The eggplant or aubergine or baingan is an excellent source of dietary fibre. The fantastic cholesterol lowering property of the baingan is due to its fibre content as well as the component nasunin, a robust, free radical scavenger. Together, the two help bring down cholesterol levels.
- Nuts: Regular consumption of walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts is very good for the heart. Eating 2 ounces of nuts daily can help in reducing LDL and keep the lipid profile within the desirable range.
- Strawberries: Packed with pectin, a soluble fibre that reduces LDL as well as potent flavonoids, strawberries are exceedingly heart-friendly foods.
How to manage cholesterol
It is very crucial that you follow a diet plan, wherein the chief elements are loads of vegetables, fruits, cereals and beans. Undeniably, overhauling your diet agenda and revising to a cholesterol lowering diet needs a great deal of attention, care and patience. You need to enthusiastically welcome the diversity of foods as well as embrace holistic measures such as aerobic exercise, adequate stress management and certain lifestyle modifications.
When your cholesterol level is creeping upward, remember - diet and exercise are the sturdy cornerstones of heart health and can help bring it down. Although these are good starting points, it is important to consult your healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle. Maintaining a recommended medicine schedule and adhering to dietary restrictions is equally crucial.
- “Role of Dietary Fibre and Short Chain Fatty Acids in the Colon” Curr Pharma Des 2003
This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s). Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author(s).