Yesterday, my Daily Message was all about the bad habits that can raise the levels of bad LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream. And by now, we should all know why LDL cholesterol is so bad for us. That nasty stuff clogs our arteries and leads to plaque build-up, which can eventually cause a stroke or heart problems. Yesterday's message was about out with the bad foods. I invited you back to tell you how to protect your health. Today, it's all about in with the good foods that will be help raise your levels of healthy HDL cholesterol while at the same time, lowering those bad LDL cholesterol levels. Hey, sounds like a good deal to me, wouldn't you agree?
Different foods lower LDL cholesterol in a number of ways.
Different foods lower LDL cholesterol in a number of ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol in the digestive system and actually drags them out of your body before they can do much damage. (How cool is that?) Some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol. Okay, here're some foods that should be on your healthy HDL cholesterol raising and bad LDL cholesterol lowering list.
Oats. Have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast as often as you can. Oatmeal-based cold cereals (those without the added sugars) like regular Cheerios are an excellent breakfast choice, too. Barley and other whole grains like oats and oat bran can also help lower the risk of heart disease, thanks mainly to the soluble fiber they deliver.
Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while to digest, meaning they help you feel full longer after eating them. That's why beans are a great addition to the diets for those of us working to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Eggplant and okra are on the list, too. They're two low-calorie vegetables, loaded with soluble fiber.
Eating two ounces of nuts per day can slightly lower LDL cholesterol levels in your body.
Lots of studies show that nuts, such as walnuts, peanuts and other types of nuts are good for the heart. Eating two ounces of nuts per day (equal to two servings) can slightly lower LDL cholesterol levels in your body. Plus nuts have different nutrients that protect the heart in other ways. As I always like to point out, go easy on the nuts because of their high-calorie content and be sure stick with the unsalted ones, okay?
Using liquid vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, safflower and others in place of butter, lard or shortening when cooking, or at the table, can also help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Don't forget your daily servings of fruit. Apples, berries, citrus fruits, they're all rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that also lowers LDL cholesterol.
Replacing red meat with fish a couple of times a week is one way to lower LDL cholesterol.
Fatty fish, like salmon, sardines and anchovies can lower LDL cholesterol in two ways. First, replacing red meat with fish a couple of times a week is one way to lower LDL cholesterol, because the saturated fat present in meat raises it. Plus, these fish are high in LDL lowering omega-3 fats, which reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart.
So there's the list and, I might add, it's a tasty list of foods, too. Add these delicacies to your daily diet as often as you can, as you eat your way to healthier levels of good-for-your body HDL cholesterol. Yep, in with the good. Foods, that is!