By Dt. Neha Chandna (Ranglani), Dietitian/Nutritionist
Excessive bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood can lead to a host of health concerns, certain fatal ones being a number of heart diseases or cardiovascular health conditions. Correcting high levels of cholesterol in the blood might require you to eat certain foods which will help you in maintaining cholesterol at optimal levels. Read on to find out what those foods are:
The foods that help you to maintain optimal cholesterol levels are –
- Oats: Oats are whole grains that contain ‘Beta-Glucan’ (naturally occurring poly-saccharides in the cellular walls of bacteria, fungi and yeast) which helps in absorbing bad cholesterol (LDL) from your body. You can include it in your breakfast or eat them as wonder snacks.
- High-fiber fruit: Fruits with a lot of fiber, such as prunes, apples, and pears, can boost your HDL levels and lower your LDL levels. Slice them up and stir them into cereal or oatmeal, or throw them into your blender and create a delicious smoothie. They’re just as great plain, too, either as a mid-afternoon snack or a treat after dinner.
- Nuts: Nuts such as cashews and almonds are good for your heart as they contain heart healthy mono-saturated fats. These fats help in reducing bad cholesterol levels in the body and preventing cardiovascular disorders.
- Beans and legumes: Beans and legumes are a great source of soluble fiber. Beans are rich in fiber that helps in slowing down the rate of cholesterol absorption by the body. Include foods such as kidney beans and pinto beans in your diet to remedy the excess levels of bad cholesterol. Reach for black beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, navy beans, lentils, and others. Folate is an important B-vitamin that’s healthy for your heart. Beans and legumes are great in side dishes, like in this Cajun Corn and Kidney Beans salad, or in soup, like the Italian Style White Bean and Kale Soup.
- Eat Avocados: Eating fresh avocados every day can significantly change lipid profiles and improve cholesterol levels. The use of avocados in lieu of solid fats and foods that have higher saturated fat content can significantly change lipid profiles.