Foods for Lower Cholesterol

Foods for Lower Cholesterol to avoid a heart attack imageFoods for lower cholesterol is both a food and a lifestyle choice.  This article reveals how you can make changes to your cholesterol level with the kinds of food that you eat and through changes in your lifestyle.  Food choices to eat for a lower cholesterol level are not very hard to make. The choices are consistent with all the healthy eating recommendations with some additional slight modifications.   It is really worth the minimum effort to lower your cholesterol if it is already at a high level because this will give you a fighting chance for a decent quality lifestyle by lowering your risk for heart problems later on in life.

First Step for Foods for Lower Cholesterol

The first step is to make sure that your aim is to lower the amount of cholesterol in your diet and not eliminate cholesterol all together. It is really important that you aim to leave some cholesterol in your diet. Your body needs cholesterol; it just does not need to be burdened with too much of it. So you need the majority of foods for lower cholesterol, but some foods that supply cholesterol.

Know the Food Groups that include Foods for Lower Cholesterol

excessively fatty food is bad for cholesterolExcessive fat contributes to increased cholesterol, blocked arteries and the associated heart disease so if you are consuming lots of fat, specifically trans-fat and saturated fat then you need to aim to cut down on these.   You will recognise these foods as containing the saturated fats –they are red meats, some oils, and full fat dairy products. All of these contain the saturated fats which you should only have in small quantities otherwise these help to raise your cholesterol levels.

 

The other kind of fat, the trans fats, are found in fried foods such as fries (known as chips in the UK), crisps (potato chips) and basically anything that is deep fried or covered in batter. Cakes are a major source of trans fats that you want to avoid.

 Foods for Lower Cholesterol Feed 2 Types of Cholesterol

Bad Cholesterol

There are 2 types of cholesterol, one bad and one good. The bad cholesterol is the low-density lipoproteins (LDL). This is what we know as the bad because it increases the cholesterol level by delivering cholesterol to all parts of the body and too much of this can accumulate in the arteries.

 Good Cholesterol

The second type of cholesterol is the good cholesterol and this is the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) which removes cholesterol from the body. This removal process is what makes it good for the body.

Which Foods

bowl of oatmeal with blueberriesSo now we need to know what foods to eat for a lower cholesterol level. But we do not want to go so low that the liver over reacts and pushes more cholesterol than necessary into the body. The main foods for lower cholesterol then are fish rich in omega 3 oil, oatmeal, walnuts, oat bran, some fruits and some vegetables and all of these need to be included in your diet.

 

Foods such as fatty meats, butter and ice cream are not good and should be excluded or minimised in your diet since they will increase your cholesterol levels.

Why Use Foods for Lower Cholesterol

In short, eating foods for lower cholesterol is much cheaper and healthier for you than taking medication to control your cholesterol levels. Looking after yourself will help you to have a better quality of life as you age. Furthermore, you may be one of those unfortunate people that have a tough time handling the side effects from some of these cholesterol controlling medications. The cholesterol healthy food choices also co-incidentally help you to control your weight if you are inclined to put on weight. But you do need to practice moderation in your food and you need to only take in enough food and nutrients to feed your healthy lifestyle. Your new healthy lifestyle needs to include exercise.

Foods for Lower Cholesterol and Exercise

30 minutes of regular daily exercise or at least being physically active on most days is a simple lifestyle choice to manage your cholesterol levels. You want to raise your HDL cholesterol and you want to lower your LDL cholesterol. The added benefit of this lifestyle choice is that if your calories in are less than your calories out and you have all the things lined up, you could be losing excess weight.

 Lower Your LDL

You LDL tend to increase with extra weight. LDL is the “bad” cholesterol level. So just by losing weight if you are overweight and if you also have high LDL-cholesterol level will help you to lower your LDL.

 Raise Your HDL

Triglycerides are also lowered and the “good” cholesterol levels, HDL are raised with weight loss. Losing weight is not just for cholesterol control but also may help prevent other health problems such as diabetes from developing.

Watch the Comforting Foods for Lower Cholesterol

Another habit to watch out for is the reaction to personal stress. Sustained and repeated stress can raise blood cholesterol levels. It is the reaction to stress by resorting to comfort food such fatty, battered, deep fried or baked goods that does the damage. You know by now the effect these types of foods will have on your cholesterol levels and your weight. Just a bad idea to continually indulge in these food choices!

More information from WebMD and from Wikipedia

An overview of the topic over here