Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in our blood that plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of our cells. However, high levels of cholesterol can lead to various health complications, including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Therefore, managing our cholesterol levels is essential to ensure a healthy heart and overall well-being.
While medication and lifestyle changes can help manage high cholesterol levels, adding certain everyday foods to our diet can also help keep our cholesterol levels in check. Here are five such everyday foods that may help lower cholesterol levels:
Oats: Oats are rich in a type of fibre called beta-glucan, which has been shown to help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Consuming just 3 grams of beta-glucan daily, which is about one bowl of oatmeal, can help lower cholesterol levels by up to 5%.
Nuts: Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which have been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Consuming a handful of nuts daily as a snack or adding them to salads and other dishes can help reduce cholesterol levels.
Fatty fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels. Consuming fatty fish at least twice a week can help improve cholesterol levels.
Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, which can help improve overall health and lower cholesterol levels. Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables daily can help reduce cholesterol levels and prevent various health complications.
Lemons: The abundance of vitamin C and antioxidants present in citrus fruits such as lemon facilitates the elimination of toxins and mitigates inflammation in the body. Citrus fruits comprise hesperidin, which has the potential to alleviate hypertension symptoms.
While adding these everyday foods to our diet can help lower cholesterol levels, it is important to remember that they cannot replace medication or lifestyle changes in managing high cholesterol levels. Consulting a healthcare professional and making lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption are also essential in managing high cholesterol levels.