Taking care of your heart is critical, don’t we all know that? In the last few years, several companies have come up with a range of products to keep your cholesterol levels in control. But we need to understand something — if you eat right and well, there’s a need to rely on these products.
In fact, we have a natural solution – yes, these ingredients are available right in your kitchen. Now, all you need to do is to understand why it is important to lower your cholesterol levels, and what exactly to eat to keep it in check.
Come, let’s figure all this out.
Cholesterol can be termed as a waxy fat-like substance that is found in all the cells of the body. LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is known as bad cholesterol while HDL (High-density lipoprotein) is good cholesterol. LDL is the bad cholesterol which can lead to a plaque build-up in one’s blood vessels. It increases the risk of serious health issues such as a heart attack or a stroke. HDL is regarded to be the good cholesterol, and helps in removing excess cholesterol from one’s body.
“You will be shocked to know your food choices can impact your cholesterol levels in a big way. Excessive consumption of high-fat animal foods like meat, eggs, and dairy products can raise your cholesterol levels. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to include a lot of fibre in the diet through foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and oats. Exercise daily to lower cholesterol, and maintain an optimum weight, quit smoking, and eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids to manage cholesterol levels. Say NO to desserts, processed food, fast food, and junk food, ” suggests Dr Aparna Govil Bhasker, laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon, Saifee Hospital, Mumbai.
1. Oats: They contain a type of soluble fibre, known as beta glucan that helps to lower cholesterol in blood.
2. Beans: They are packed with soluble fibre that helps to reduce bad cholesterol.
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3. Okra: It is low in calories, high in soluble fibre, and helps to keep cholesterol levels in check.
4. Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, and peanuts are good for your heart health, but only when consumed in a certain quantity, as recommended by an expert. They can even help you lower your LDL levels and triglycerides.
5. Legumes: Varieties like chickpeas are dense in plant-based proteins and soluble fibre. They help to lower your cholesterol levels.
6. Fruits: Apples, strawberries and grapes are loaded with pectin, a kind of soluble fibre that lowers cholesterol levels.
7. Soybeans: Tofu or soy milk is high in protein and fibre, and helps to keep cholesterol levels in check.
8. Fatty fish: Varieties like salmon, sardine, and mackerel can be eaten as a replacement for meat. That’s because they contain LDL-boosting saturated fats. Fatty fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
So ladies, the next time you make a grocery list, ensure you include most of these products to stay as healthy as possible!