Best Foods to Include & Avoid in Diet to Lower Cholesterol
Medically reviewed by Ashwathy V. Pillai, Postgraduate Degree in Dietetics & Applied Nutrition
Cholesterol is an essential evil. Essential because it helps in digesting foods or producing hormones. Evil because a higher concentration of cholesterol can attack our very core, the heart. So how can we reduce cholesterol? Well, before fighting this enemy let’s know about it a little.
Cholesterol is an oil-based substance that is present in every cell of our body. It is carried through the blood by lipoproteins. There are 2 kinds of lipoproteins: HDL and LDL. To know more about cholesterol and these lipoproteins, click here!
Coming back to the recurring question: How to reduce cholesterol?
There are many medications to keep your blood cholesterol level control. But changing your lifestyle can help to reduce the cholesterol naturally without any side effects. Cholesterol lowering foods are your answer to reduce cholesterol naturally!
We Bring You 10 Cholesterol Lowering Foods
1. Psyllium Husk
Soluble fibre can help in lowering bad cholesterol because these fibres bind the LDL or bad cholesterol in the digestive system and take it out of the body.
And psyllium husk contains about 70% of soluble fibre. It also lowers the total cholesterol level along with the LDL. Moreover, it is also known to make bowel movements easier.
Many products are found that can bring to your required amount of psyllium husk supplement. Our product Trufibre has psyllium husk as one of the key ingredients.
2. Sprouted Beans & Legumes
Again sprouted beans & legumes are packed with dietary fibres especially the soluble fibres. So these are very good for lowering of low-density lipoproteins and hence lowering of bad cholesterol effects.
Sprouted beans & legumes are also known to reduce sudden blood sugar level changes. These are also rich sources of proteins. The best way to include sprouted beans & legumes into a diet is through salads.
Ever tried adding sprouts in upma? Well, Click here for the recipe of upma added sprouts to it and tastes absolutely heavenly.
Studies have shown that spirulina supplementation can lower down the effects of high cholesterol. In a study, when a dose of 1 gram of spirulina was given to a group of adults with high cholesterol daily, at the end of the 3 months, they showed a decreased level of LDL cholesterol as well as the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol.
Spirulina is one of the best methods of reducing high blood cholesterol level naturally. It is also known to help in reducing blood pressure, body inflammation etc. TruGreen is a Truweight’s product with Spirulina.
In many studies, it has been found that garlic can lower cholesterol levels. It lowers the total cholesterol as well as triglyceride levels while not affecting the level of good cholesterol i.e, HDL. There have been debates though on which form of garlic is more effective on the cholesterol.
Garlic in its raw form is found to be pretty effective. So, you can have grated garlic mixed with dressings.
Symptoms of high cholesterol
There are no symptoms of high cholesterol levels as such. That is why it is more dreaded.
However, there are some signs that are indicators or serve as symptoms of high cholesterol level in blood. They are
- Chest pain
- Heart attack
- Pain while walking.
You might be wondering why fish is enlisted under this food list to reduce cholesterol naturally. Because let’s face it, fish contains cholesterol too. But what you may not know is that fish also contains omega-3 fatty acids. This is one essential fatty acid that can lower cholesterol.
Many studies have also shown that fish oil supplements can reduce triglycerides in the blood. Some fishes that are very rich in omega- 3 fatty acids like Salmon, Sardine, Herring are found to increase the good cholesterol.
A bowl of oatmeal can do wonders for lowering your cholesterol. Have a bowl of oatmeal or cold based cereal for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fibre.
You can add a variety of toppings to make it tastier like strawberries or bananas.
Eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other fruits are really beneficial for the heart. Eating a handful of nuts daily can slightly lower LDL.
Nuts have other additional nutrients that protect the heart in many ways. They have a good amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
8. Green Tea
It is arguably the worlds number one beverage for anti-ageing. It has a rich source of anti-oxidants which fights cancer but also supports the heart.
Drinking green tea can help reduce atherosclerosis and the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and also improves bone density and brain function.
The King of all spices when it comes to fighting inflammation. They have a bunch of benefits including lowering cholesterol, preventing clots, killing free radicals, balancing hormones and more. The presence of an active ingredient called curcumin helps fight inflammatory diseases like heart, cancer, arthritis and more.
10. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes provide a good amount of fibre in addition to loads of vitamins and antioxidants. They are low in calories and glycemic index and high in potassium.
Eating sweet potatoes will not spike your blood sugar as they are low in the glycemic index.
Foods To Avoid If You Have High Cholesterol
The liver can add high levels of cholesterol as this organ is the primary source of cholesterol, and this is where the waxy substance is made and stored.
Its most people’s favorite food and the juicy, tasty burger is just so yum. The patty in the burger is loaded with 175 mg of cholesterol so we suggest you to avoid them as much as you can.
3. Fried Chicken
The golden, deep-fried, crunchy is an extremely famous dish loved by thousands. It is easy food, can be easily picked up from any fast food joints but these tiny pieces of chicken is packed with more cholesterol than a hamburger. So opt for a more healthy chicken dish.
4. French Fries
Another favorite food, especially among the teenagers but french fries are considered to be high in cholesterol due to the presence of hydrogenated vegetable oils.
5. Ice Cream
You will hate me saying this, but ice cream isn’t the best snack for people who have high cholesterol. One scoop of the frozen treat has more fats than a hamburger and more cholesterol than 10 glazed donuts.
For a quick review of all the foods that can help in reducing high blood cholesterol level, check out the video
Quick Tips to Reduce Cholesterol:
- Eat foods with good fats.
- Avoid foods with trans fats.
- Have more soluble fibres.
- Take up regular physical workouts.
- Change eating habits by including heart-healthy foods.
So now that you know which cholesterol-lowering foods can be included in your diet, we hope you are all set to fight the bad villainous LDL in your body.
If you know of any other food that may help in putting control in cholesterol levels don’t forget to mention them in the comments below.
Cholesterol level can be affected by proper weight management too.
To know more about how to keep your cholesterol level in control with proper diets, you can consult a Truweight Nutritionist. All for FREE! Click here!