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Individuals that are overweight and obese are more prone to cardiovascular diseases because of the high cholesterol level in their blood. Therefore, it is recommended that they lose some weight to help reduce their cholesterol level.
To help keep cholesterol low, it is important to eat a healthy diet that is low in unsaturated fat. However, cholesterol levels can be reduced when you include the following super 8 foods that lower cholesterol.
1. Oats: Having a bowl of oatmeal or oat-based cereal for breakfast is an easy first step to improving your cholesterol. It provides you with 1g to 2g of soluble fiber and an extra 0.5g each if you add a banana or some strawberries. The daily recommendation for fiber is 20 to 30 grams with 5 to 10 grams obtained from soluble fiber.
2. Barley and other whole grains: These assist in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, just like oats and oat bran, mostly through their supply of soluble fiber.
3. Nuts: Nuts are rich in fiber, vegetable protein, healthy fats, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, natural plant sterols and many other plant nutrients that are beneficial. Taking about 30-35g of nuts daily could lower cholesterol by up to 5%.
4. Beans and Other Legumes: Beans, lentils, peas and peanuts are also super sources of soluble fiber. According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition (November 2007), it was discovered that eating half a cup of cooked dried pinto beans (2 grams of soluble fiber) every day for 12 weeks consistently decreased LDL cholesterol by almost 7%.
5. Soy: Soy is another super food that is high in fiber, low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol. It is the only complete plant-based protein, which implies that it’s an equal swap for animal sources like meat and dairy.
Substituting foods that are high in saturated fat with daily Soy intake has the ability to lower LDL cholesterol by almost 8 to 10% - according to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition (2010).
6. Vegetable oils: Another way to reduce cholesterol is by cooking with liquid vegetable oils such as sunflower, canola, safflower and others instead of butter or lard.
7. Citrus fruits, Grapes, Apples and Strawberries: These fruits are very rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that helps lower LDL.
8. Avocados: Avocados contain monounsaturated fats that help in lowering LDL and increasing HDL, most especially in persons with mildly elevated cholesterol. Add a few slices of avocados to salads and sandwiches, or mash with garlic, salsa and lemon juice for a great guacamole.
There are many other foods that lower cholesterol levels but these eight are a good place to start if you are dedicated to forming eating habits that are healthy. Generally, stay away from unsaturated fats and eat more of fiber, Omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, - doing this will definitely help improve your cholesterol level.
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