Lowering your cholesterol isn’t just about cutting out foods and taking away the fun. Sometimes it’s about adding the right ingredients that can help your body process cholesterol faster.
The great news is that these foods are far from unpleasant. They can bring wonderful flavour to your next meal and give you more to enjoy.
While exercise and professional medical advice remain absolutely essential, the following ingredients can be a great starting point.
According to Mayo Clinic, high-fibre foods like oats, bran and barley can have a strong long-term effect on your cholesterol levels. They contain beta-glucan, a substance that absorbs cholesterol, ensuring it leaves your body at the same time as the food. Add a little sliced fruit for even better results.
Not only will it add a delicious extra edge to your dinner; a small amount of garlic could also lead to a small drop in cholesterol levels.
While the exact findings are still open to debate, and studies are ongoing, garlic is also a great source of antioxidents, and has been linked to improved bone health. Throwing that clove or two into your cooking is a win-win decision.
Beans, lentils or chickpeas
Some extremely promising studies show that one serving per day could lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 5-6 per cent.
If they don’t work as an added ingredient, a simple side dish of beans, garlic and onions can give you the extra health boost you need. While you may feel a little bloated or gassy at first, this will quickly fade as your body gets used to it.
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish can help your body against practically every illness under the sun, from bone health to hearing to dementia. Here’s one more reason to make the time for fish. Just two servings per week can give your body the dose it needs. It doesn’t need to be an extravagant salmon dish; even canned tuna can have some heart health benefits.
Both the antioxidants and the alcohol in read wine can raise your levels of HDL (casually known as the “good” cholesterol). This will help protect you arteries from buildup of the “bad” cholesterol.
As with all “red wine is good for you” health tips, moderation is absolutely essential, as this advice applies only to very small doses.
If you’d rather not up your alcohol intake, straight-up grape juice can also have a similar effect.
Here’s one you can fix for yourself right now: both green and black tea have been linked to lower cholesterol levels. The current consensus is that green tea is sightly more beneficial, boosting your “good” cholesterol and making a small but important dent in overall levels.
Which of these delicious foods and drinks are part of your diet? What are your tricks for keeping cholesterol in check?