There are a several reasons why your cholesterol goes up: 1) changes in your diet, 2) stress 3) lack of exercise 4) weight gain and/or 5) hereditary causes. Diet is the main culprit for most people. Correct diets lower cholesterol more effectively than any other method, and food that helps lower cholesterol is found from a wide variety of sources. You have control of the first four reasons above for increased cholesterol, but most of what will bring down your high cholesterol is with the foods you eat. There are three “superfoods” that are particularly effective. That is the subject of this article
When we eat indiscriminately, consuming animal fats from meat and dairy products, drink a lot of alcohol, white bread, crackers, cookies and soda, we’ll be lucky to still be alive in twenty years. These all cause your liver to produce as much LDL cholesterol it possibly can, and you will certainly gain weight to boot. Or is that booty.
These foods are exactly what spikes cholesterol levels, and brings many other afflictions into the picture, like obesity, diabetes, and cancer. To make matters worse, the fatter you become the harder it is to lower your cholesterol because each pound of fat, in itself, increases LDLs (the “bad” cholesterol) without anything else going on. So, losing weight first should be the mission before trying to lower your cholesterol. As it happens, a cholesterol-friendly diet overlaps strongly with a diet to lose weight, so these two goals do work together.
1) Soluble fiber – This group of foods acts as a brake on your body’s production of LDLs (low-density lipoproteins), the “bad” cholesterol. They reduce the absorption of LDLs in your bloodstream by themselves absorbing the LDLs and eliminating them. But not all of them. No silver bullets here, just a few silver-tipped arrows-but they do work. The best foods to eat in this category are: beans (all types), bananas, apples, oatmeal, and oat bran.
2) Nuts – Fat is very important to your body’s health. Contrary to what some “experts” have said, it’s pretty settled in the medical community that high quality fats are essential for overall health, not just for maintaining cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fats are found in the following: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachio nuts. These are high calorie snacks, so take care to eat no more than a handful a day.
3) Fish – In your quest for high quality fat, omega 3s are the highest. These are found in most fish, but some have more than others. Fish oil has omega 3 fatty acids that actually raise HDLs, the “good” cholesterol, and reduce chances of a blood clot causing stroke or heart attack. They have the added benefit of lowering you blood pressure. Folks with existing heart conditions use fish as a staple to prevent another or first heart attack. The fish with the highest percentage of fish oil are: sardines, herring, lake trout, mackerel, albacore tuna, halibut, and salmon.
East these foods regularly and you’ve made a giant leap towards heart health and overall well being!