5 Foods That Lowers Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fat like substance that human body requires for the formation of bile ducts which makes the human body be able to digest fats. In order to be healthy, cholesterol is essential for the body but having too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to the build up in the walls of the arteries. The buildup of cholesterol in the arteries can block the flow of blood to the heart and the brain. Without enough blood flowing to the heart and brain, increases the risk of developing serious heart disease.

There are different types of cholesterol in the body and the two main types are – low density lipoprotein and high density lipoprotein. Low density lipoprotein is also known as bad cholesterol as it can cause damage to the heart and arteries. Therefore, it should be as low as possible. Whereas, high density lipoprotein is also known as good cholesterol. High level of good cholesterol is known to protect the heart and decreases the risk of developing heart disease. Therefore, higher high density lipoprotein numbers are better. Triglycerides are the type of lipid that is found in the blood and these triglycerides are stored in the fat cells. Like cholesterol, high triglyceride levels are harmful to the heart and causes hardening of arteries or thickening of artery walls.

When it comes to health, small changes can give big rewards. Here are some of the foods that can help you maintain a healthy cholesterol level.

1. Soy

It has been known for many years that soybean has positive health benefits. Soybeans are recognized as a valuable source of nutrient and contain high quality proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fibers. They are said to be a significant source of phytochemicals such as isoflavones, phytosterols, lecithins, saponins, and soluble fibers. Soy lecithins and saponins play a major role in lipid metabolism.

Numerous studies have reported a correlation between the intake of soy protein and serum lipid profile. Studies suggest that soybean has a positive effect on the serum lipid profile and it protects the accumulation of cholesterol on the vascular walls and as a result, it decreases the risk of developing heart disease. Intake of soybeans is also associated with increased high density lipoprotein and decreased low density lipoprotein.

2. Oats

Oats have been shown to have cholesterol lowering properties and play a role in preventing the development of the heart disease. Oats are said to be highly nutritious as it includes minerals, vitamins, soluble fiber β-glucan, phytochemicals, and unsaturated fatty acids.  Soluble fiber β-glucan is said to be the main component of the oats that play the major role in lowering cholesterol in the humans.

One of the studies showed that the intake of β-glucan leads to declined plasma concentration and low density lipoprotein concentration. Apart from this, oats are also known to have a significant amount of dietary fibers that are known to reduce energy density in foods.

3. Nuts

You must have heard that nuts consumption has been associated with decreased heart disease. Various dietary intervention trials have studies the effect of nut consumption on the blood lipid levels. A trial showed that the nut consumption causes a consistent decrease in the low density lipoprotein and the level of high density lipoprotein remain unchanged by the intake of some nuts while some leads to increase in high density lipoprotein.

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Nuts such as almonds and walnuts have high amount of unsaturated fat, which increases high density lipoprotein and decreases low density lipoprotein. Walnuts consist of high amount of omega 3 fatty acid and omega 3 fatty acids are known to slow down the growth of plaques on the walls of the heart, hence a decreased risk of developing a heart disease. It also causes the decrease in the level of triglycerides in the blood.

4. Avocado

Avocado is a fruit which belongs to Lauraceae family and is known to have a wide range of benefits to the body. Various researchers have agreed that eating one avocado a day can help you reduce the risk of the heart problem, maintains cholesterol levels and reduces low level lipoprotein in obese.

Avocado is highly nutritious and it contributes towards the improvement of various health problems. It is highly believed that people who are overweight or are obese are at high risk of developing cholesterol related problems. Avocado is known to have an effect on weight as well. It helps in weight reduction.

5. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is beneficial for the health. It contains flavonoids and is shown to have positive effects on the blood lipid levels. It reduces low level lipoprotein and triglycerides and increased high level lipoprotein. Flavonoids are known to improve cholesterol levels, improve the functions of coronary arteries, increases antioxidant activity and lowers blood pressure.

It is essential to understand that chocolate is beneficial, but only the dark chocolate. White chocolate and milk chocolate blocks the antioxidant effect of the chocolate and it misses the plant chemical that is beneficial for the health.

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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for CheapMedicineShop.com. She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.