High cholesterol can be a serious medical problem. But, there are many things that you can do to help get your cholesterol back under control. There are many cholesterol reducing foods that can shift your cholesterol numbers into a healthy zone.
When it comes to cholesterol reducing foods there are actually two things to take into consideration. One is foods that increase your HDL and the other is foods that will lower your LDL. You might be scratching your head wondering what these strange letters might mean. Let me start by explaining a little bit about cholesterol.
The Two Faces of Cholesterol
You see, there are actually two kids of cholesterol. The LDL, or low density lipoprotein, is considered bad for you. This is the type of cholesterol that you want to have a low score for. This cholesterol is slow moving and can block your arteries. Blocked or restricted arteries are what can cause stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks.
The other kind of cholesterol is HDL, or high density lipoprotein. This type of cholesterol moves quickly through your system and will actually help to unblock the LDL stuck on your arteries. You want to have a higher score with your HDL numbers.
Cholesterol Reducing Foods
Even though there are two types of cholesterol there are actually three types of cholesterol reducing foods. One will lower bad cholesterol. One will increase the good cholesterol. And one will do both of these things.
Let’s take a look at some of the bad cholesterol reducing foods first.
- Oats– If you have watched any amount of television in the last ten years than you would have seen a commercial about oats being good for heart health. And it’ true. Oats and oatmeal are fantastic for lowering the bad cholesterol that is in your system.
- Beans– Most of the legumes are high in fiber. Any foods with a high fiber content are going to help move cholesterol out of your body before it gets absorbed. This means they will help to lower bad cholesterol levels.
- Fish– Salmon, sardines, and mackerel are all fish that have a high fat content, but it’s the good omega-3 fat that helps to lower bad cholesterol levels. Again, this type of food will be less effective when it is drenched in butter or other sauces. So make smarter choices.
Here are a few of the cholesterol reducing foods that will increase your good cholesterol rating.
- Nuts– Nuts are high in the fats that are good for your body. But not all nuts are equal when it comes to health benefits. Walnuts and almonds are the top rated nuts. Plus, all nuts are high in calories so you need to watch your intake. Also, remember that nuts that have been roasted, salted, or coated in sugar are not going to have the same health benefits as nuts that are raw.
- Orange Juice– Recent studies have shown that one glass of orange juice a day can increase the good cholesterol levels by 21 percent. Most likely this is from the antioxidants that are found in the oranges.
Here are a few of the cholesterol reducing foods that do both.
- Garlic– This food is known for so many health benefits that it is no wonder that cholesterol reduction is part of the list. Garlic has been proven to lower bad cholesterol while helping to increase the good stuff.
- Niacin– One of the B vitamins, Niacin has some of the same effects on the body as statin prescription drugs. But with this supplement it is important to be under a medical professional’s care as Niacin can interfere with blood thinners and other drugs.