High cholesterol can lead to all kinds of serious health problems including heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, and so on. And with all of the fatty and processed foods that fill up the shelves of our supermarkets today, it is harder than ever to keep those cholesterol levels down.
If you do have high cholesterol, it is important to watch what you eat, and you might want to look into private health insurance comparison to cover yourself, however, it doesn’t actually take much for most healthy people to keep their cholesterol down.
All it takes is a little discipline, and some education regarding which things are good for you, and which can harm your body. Of course, you must be dedicated to keeping healthy if you truly want to make an impact, and just one food will not make a difference, but if you want to lower your cholesterol, here are five of the best foods to help you out.
The fiber in oats lowers low-density lipoprotein, which is to say the bad cholesterol, in your body. This means that other high-fiber foods are also great for lowering cholesterol; foods such as fruit, barley, kidney beans, and especially prunes are great to eat. If you really want to get your daily dose of fiber, combine a few by putting some chopped fruit on the top of your porridge.
The omega-3 that is found in fish makes it a good food for reducing blood pressure. It is especially recommended if you have suffered a heart attack in the past. Some of the best fish, according to the American Heart Association, are mackerel, trout, herring, sardines, tuna, salmon, and halibut. If you do not like or cannot eat fish, there are also omega 3 or fish oil supplements that you can take, although that will deny you some of the other nutrients that are found in fish.
Nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (the good kind of fats), and help to lower cholesterol and keep blood vessels healthy—when eaten in moderation. Walnuts are especially healthy, but other good options include almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, and pistachios. Remember that salt is notorious for raising cholesterol, so they might be having the opposite effect if the nuts that you eat are bathed in salt.
Next time you reach for that stick of butter to grease up your pan, think again. Olive oil is much better for you and is actually a great food for lowering cholesterol—where butter has the opposite effect. Olive oil is the best, but if you want, canola and sunflower oil can also be acceptable substitutes.
This might be music to your ears, but remember, as, with everything on this list, the key is in moderation. Studies have found that cocoa may be effective in lowering cholesterol. Try a few squares of dark chocolate as a treat instead of other sweets or ice cream, and your waistline will thank you as much as your heart will.