How to Lower LDL Cholesterol Naturally with a Healthy Diet Plan

by healthtalk

Caring about your heart and overall health? Having low LDL cholesterol levels is crucial. Learn how to achieve that naturally with a healthy diet plan.

Medical authorities, including the American Heart Association, recommend that people lower their “bad” cholesterol to lower their risk of Heart attacks and strokes. Doctors call this “bad” cholesterol Low Density Lipoprotein or LDL, and the measurement of the LDL contained in the body is the way of determining a person’s likely risk of a heart attack. You can keep your heart healthy and disease free by following a healthy balanced diet. What medical professionals mean by a healthy balanced diet is a diet that is heavy in dietary fiber, fruits and vegetables, and light in red meat and saturated fats. So what are the components of such a diet and why do they help?

Whole grains foods
Whole grains foods
Photo by Peggy Greb via Wikimedia Commons

Whole Grains

Whole grains are a good source of dietary fiber. There are two types of dietary fiber, insoluble fiber is good for a healthy digestion and soluble fiber absorbs water and helps the body to maintain a lower cholesterol level. Whole grains are a good source of both types of fiber. Medical professionals recommend that humans should take 20-35 grams of fiber every day to achieve the best results. You can introduce the benefits of whole grains into your diet by changing to whole grain breakfast cereals, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta and whole grain tortillas. Oat bran and brown rice are particularly good foods to include in your diet because they are very good at helping to lower cholesterol.

A delicious fruit salad recipe
A delicious fruit salad recipe
Photo by Danieldnm via Wikimedia Commons

Fruits and Vegetables

Soluble fiber reduces the rate that the body absorbs cholesterol. It does this by forcing the body to eliminate more bile as waste. Most fruits contain fiber of one kind or another however, not all fruits contain a lot of soluble fiber. Apples, oranges, tangerines, and plums are high in soluble fiber. Bananas, apricots, pineapples and grapefruit and the delicious soft fruits, such as blackberries, cherries, peaches and strawberries also contain soluble fiber. Eating the whole fruit, rather than juice, gives the greatest benefit, juicing fruits removes some of the fiber.
Those wishing to eat a healthy diet for heart health should choose vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, garlic and the very dark green leafy vegetables, for example, spinach and kale. For flushing fat from bile in the liver and lowering cholesterol drink carrot, celery and beet juices.

Yummy omega-3 rich smoked mackerel recipe
Yummy omega-3 rich smoked mackerel recipe
Photo by Jocian via Wikimedia Commons

Foods High in Omega 3 Fats

Oily fish, for example, herring, sardines, mackerel, and salmon contain Omega 3 fatty acids in large amounts. Countless studies have proved that Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting agents, these help stop LDL oxidation and also the fatty build up of plaque in your arteries. Research has shown that people who eat omega 3 rich fish, three times per week have a markedly decreased risk of heart disease. Other dietary sources of omega 3 are canola, flaxseed, soybean and walnut oils.

Barbecue meat
Barbecue meat
Photo by Mike McCune via Flickr

Limit Saturated Fats and Avoid Trans fats

A heavy consumption of foods high in saturated fats will lead to high cholesterol levels. Also most foods high in saturated fats also contain a lot of cholesterol, raising cholesterol levels even more. Foods that originate from animals, such as red meat, lamb, beef and pork, and dairy products, for example cream, butter and cheese contain high levels of saturated fat. If you want to lower your cholesterol levels, limiting these foods can help to do so.
Food manufacturers produce trans-fatty acids by whipping fats with water. They are then in a form which the body cannot process, in the normal manner, and it consequently lays them down in the arteries as cholesterol. Trans-fats put the balance between LDL and HDL cholesterol off kilter. Avoiding foods containing trans-fats or hydrogenated oils and fats will help you to lower your LDL levels (more info here). A healthy balanced diet can help you to lower your cholesterol levels, keep the bad cholesterol in check and maintain a healthy heart. Read also "how to lower cholesterol naturally' on cholesterolmenu.com.

Updated: 01/05/2016, healthtalk
 
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healthtalk on 05/01/2014

Thanks Mira! The salad looks quite delicious indeed!

Mira on 04/26/2014

Nice article. Love that salad, by the way :):).

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