If you are trying to lose weight to improve your overall health and boost your longevity, you probably are well aware that one of the important components of this is to reduce your levels of cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a type of fat that occurs in every one and is required by the body to function and survive. In excess levels however, cholesterol is one of the main types of fats that can build up on the arteries and impede blood circulation, potentially even causing a heart attack or blood clot.
If you are at risk for these problems, or if you just want to get healthier, lose weight and know you need to reduce your cholesterol levels, here are 8 foods you should be eating to help you out:
- Oatmeal – If you have ever bought oats, or packages of oatmeal, you have probably seen the advertisement on it, which says “helps lower cholesterol.” The main method behind this is through the soluble fiber content of oats. Excess cholesterol in the body can be eliminated through the digestive system when bound to fiber.
- Ground flaxseed – Flaxseed is cholesterol lowering wonder food, because it combines healthy fats and fiber to help reduce your artery clogging cholesterol levels. The presence of healthy fat discourages the accumulation of bad fat, while fiber binds to cholesterol and helps move it through the digestive system to be eliminated.
- Avocado – Similar to ground flaxseed, avocado is high in healthy fats, specifically monounsaturated fat. The presence of this fat in the bloodstream raises our levels of the good fats (High Density Lipoproteins) and decreases the levels of Low Density Lipoproteins, or bad fats. In addition, these fats decrease the amount of cholesterol the body is able to absorb.
- Organic Soy – Whether you opt for soybeans, tofu, tempeh or edemame, soy is an effective food for educing cholesterol because of its content of isoflavones. Isoflavones are compounds, which help lower LDL cholesterol.
- Legumes – Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans are all high in fiber, helping to move cholesterol through the body. In addition, these are plant sources of protein, which do not contain high cholesterol levels like meat sources. Eating plant based protein options instead is a great way to reduce your overall cholesterol intake and lower the cholesterol level in your body.
- Leafy greens – Leafy green vegetables, including spinach and kale, contain high levels of lutein. Lutein is an antioxidant, which has been shown to help arteries eliminate excess cholesterol, which is starting to accumulate on the walls of the arteries.
- Nuts – Omega 3s, protein, healthy fats and fiber, what’s not to love about this delicious crunchy snack? We say, go nuts! Well, with moderation of course, nuts are a high calorie snack due to their naturally occurring fat content, but it is this fat that helps them act as a good means of lowering cholesterol and helping you lose weight.
- Garlic – Similar to leafy greens, the role of garlic in lowering cholesterol has been found to do with the artery walls. Researchers have found that in addition to having anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, garlic also prevents cholesterol and plaque from building up on the walls of the arteries, reducing the risk of blood clots and cholesterol related heart issues.