How You Can Cut Down on Bad Cholesterol without Sacrificing Any
If you’re battling high cholesterol levels,
you’re likely taking the medication approach—but have you considered
supplementing this with dietary changes? A low-fat, low-cholesterol diet can
improve your levels just as effectively, and when put together with
cholesterol-lowering medication, can do wonders for your body. But before you
start cutting it out of your diet, it’s important to understand what makes
“Low-Cholesterol” is, like “Low-Fat,” a bit
of an oversimplification: like with fat, there are both good and bad kinds of
cholesterol, and the idea is to cut out the bad while leaving some of the good.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad kind, contributes to plaque buildup in
the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. High-density
lipoprotein (HDL), the good kind, actually helps reduce existing LDL levels.
Here are some delicious ways to lower your
LDL levels, while maintaining healthy levels of HDL:
Fibre is essential to any low-fat,
low-cholesterol diet, and soluble fiber in particular can help absorb LDL. A
diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is healthy for anyone,
but especially for those with high cholesterol. So work in plenty of legumes,
beans, oats, lentils, broccoli, apples, peas, brussels sprouts, and more.
As we mentioned earlier, there are bad fats,
and good fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are great for your
cholesterol, and essential to making delicious low-carb meals if you’re
also trying to cut down on that. Nuts, avocados (say yes to extra guac),
flaxseed, natural peanut butter, and fish—especially salmon, trout, and
tuna—are all great sources of healthy fat, and fish in particular make for a
delicious low-carb, high-protein meal for those fitness-minded individuals.
It’s more than just the perfect complement to
your meal. Red wine, which uses high-fibre grapes and is loaded with
antioxidants, can help significantly decrease your LDL
levels. No need to go overboard, either—a glass a day will keep the cholesterol
away. And if for any reason you do not partake of alcohol, black tea will do a
similar job. Bottoms up!
Popeye’s favourite source of iron (there’s a funny story
behind that, actually) is also very rich in lutein, a yellow pigment that has
plenty of benefits for the human body. One of these is guarding against high
LDL levels, keeping your arteries nice and clear. These deliciously versatile
leafy greens are perfect for any diet.
By taking on a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet,
you can drastically improve your body’s balance of LDL and HDL, reaping all the
benefits while doing away with the bad stuff—isn’t that something to feel good