When you have high cholesterol, you want to bring those numbers down to help prevent a heart attack or a stroke. If that brings to mind bowl after bowl of oat bran and long slogs on a treadmill, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.
It’s an adjustment, for sure. But the truth is, lifestyle changes really do make a difference. They can even feel good. Here are 6 tips to lower cholesterol with your diet and help reduce your risk of heart disease.
More Fiber Consumption
Beans, barley, oatmeal, psyllium seeds, and Brussels sprouts are just a few of the foods that have it. All plants have fiber. The “insoluble” kind passes through you without breaking down. The “soluble” sort becomes gel-like in your gut — and helps your body get rid of cholesterol. According to the National Institutes of Health, you can expect about a 5% drop in your bad cholesterol if you add 5-10 more grams of fiber a day.
Herbs And Spices For Seasoning
Herbs and spices are nutritional powerhouses packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Garlic, turmeric, and ginger are especially effective at lowering cholesterol when eaten regularly. Dried oregano, sage, mint, thyme, clove, allspice and cinnamon contain some of the highest numbers of antioxidants, as well as fresh herbs such as oregano, marjoram, dill, and cilantro.
Reduce Sugar Added
Eating too many added sugars can raise cholesterol levels. Getting more than 25% of your daily calories from added sugars can raise cholesterol levels and more than double your risk of dying from heart disease. Cut back by choosing foods without added sugars as much as possible.
Soy As Your Food Preference
Soybeans are rich in protein and contain isoflavones, plant-based compounds that are similar in structure to estrogen. Soy contains plant-based proteins and isoflavones that can reduce LDL cholesterol levels, lowering your risk of heart disease when eaten regularly.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea is also rich in antioxidants, which can prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and forming plaques in your arteries. Drinking at least four cups per day provides the greatest protection against heart disease, but enjoying just one cup daily can reduce your risk of heart attack by nearly 20%.
Avoid Artificial Trans Fats
While trans fats occur naturally in red meat and dairy products, most people’s main source is artificial trans fat used in many restaurants and processed foods. So it is recommended to reduce junk food or fast food consumption. Just cook by yourself at home and buy healthy groceries.
Cholesterol has important functions in the body but can cause clogged arteries and heart disease when it gets out of control. If your cholesterol is out of balance, lifestyle interventions are the first line of treatment. Set your new healthy habits right now!