When your cholesterol jumps up above 200 mg/dL, your doctor may prescribe you medications to lower the levels. High cholesterol in the blood increases your chances of developing atherosclerosis and heart disease. It’s very important that you manage your cholesterol as soon as possible, and this is true even for people who still have normal cholesterol levels. The amount of cholesterol you have in your body is largely affected by your diet. Therefore, your diet can fix it.
These foods are known to fight bad cholesterol.
Salmon is the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is known as the good, heart-friendly fat. This is the type of fat that raises the levels of HDL and lowers levels of LDL, triglycerides, and bad cholesterol. Any cold-water fish, such as herring, sardines, anchovies, and mackerel, is rich in omega-3.
Garlic is more than just a staple ingredient in many recipes. It has natural compounds that reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Research has also found out that garlic can prevent blood clots and stop development of plaques in arteries, which increase one’s chances of developing atherosclerosis. Too much cholesterol in the blood gets deposited on the walls of arteries as plaques. The plaques reduce the elasticity of the arterial walls and later cause clogging. Eating 2-4 cloves daily offers the best protection.
Monounsaturated fats in avocado are excellent in keeping your cholesterol at bay and raising your HDL. Avocado contains beta-sitosterol, which halts the body’s absorption of cholesterol from the food you eat. The combined effects of monounsaturated fats and beta-sitosterol make avocado an excellent cholesterol-busting superfood. The catch is it’s high in calories, so eat a whole avocado in replacement of a snack.
Spinach contains lutein, a yellow pigment found in green leafy vegetables. Lutein is known to prevent macular degeneration. But recent research has pointed out its cholesterol-reducing benefits. In fact, it has been shown that it keeps arterial clogs from forming by blocking cholesterol. Just half a cup of spinach a day is enough for these benefits.
Walnuts, almonds, and cashew nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats and omega-3. Not only can they lower blood cholesterol but also can they reduce chances of cardiovascular disease. But don’t help yourself to a large bowl of nuts, because they are high in calories and can make you fat if you eat too much. Two tablespoons of nuts a day are enough. You can also add nuts on salads or cereal.
It doesn’t matter whether you drink tea hot or cold. It will deliver antioxidants to your body. One type of antioxidant found in tea is flavonoids, which block the oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidation of cholesterol is responsible for the formation of plaques in arteries. A cup of green or black tea a day is enough.
Dark chocolate is also rich in flavonoids, which keep clogs from forming in your arteries. You don’t need much. An ounce of dark chocolate a day can reduce bad cholesterol and prevent its oxidation.
Unfortunately, white chocolate doesn’t have flavonoids.