Cholesterol is produced by your body, but your diet can increase those bad cholesterol numbers if one do not pays attention to maintain a healthy diet.
On this page:
- 1 Can foods really help lower your cholesterol?…
- 2 Foods that help lower cholesterol fast.
- 3 Out With The Bad Stuff That Raise LDL Numbers
- 4 In With The Good Stuff: Keep Cholesterol Under Control
- 5 Is The Food Preparation Method Important In Cholesterol Absorption?
- 6 Does Fiber Lower Cholesterol?
- 7 Does Red Yeast Rice Lower Cholesterol?
- 8 Does Garlic Lower Cholesterol?
- 9 Does Fish Oil Lower Cholesterol?
- 10 Does Green Tea Lower Cholesterol?
- 11 More Useful Information And Further References:
Can foods really help lower your cholesterol?…
If a bad diet can increase cholesterol, a healthy one can help reverse the process and with the proper foods you can discover that yes, there are foods that lower cholesterol.
There are 3 main directions we can use foods in order to reduce cholesterol numbers:
- those delivering soluble fiber, that binds cholesterol and flush it out from our body
- those that directly lower LDL with the help of polyunsaturated fats
- and those containing contain plant sterols and stanols, which will block the absorption of cholesterol
So, there is some work and eating habits to brake and healthier choices to make. But, in the end, our health is going to totally worth it. 🙂
Foods that help lower cholesterol fast.
Yeayyy!!!… Not so fast. 🙂 You have to eat them first. 😉
“Some foods punch well above their weight in helping to reduce cholesterol levels – we call them the “Cholesterol busters”. Choosing a healthy diet, low in saturated fat is important in helping to keep your cholesterol low but you can reduce your cholesterol levels further by including these super six foods in your every day diet .” – says Heartuk.org.uk.
… AND try to avoid high cholesterol foods!
Out With The Bad Stuff That Raise LDL Numbers
Foods high in cholesterol
First of all, we have to try to avoid the bad stuff that increased our cholesterol in the first place. Poor diet and unhealthy life choices often lead to raised LDL numbers, and we have to make some changes in that area, if we really want to improve our situation.
1. Avoid saturated fats.
Mostly founded in animal products like red meat, whole-fat dairy and also eggs. Saturated fats can also been fund in some vegetable oils like palm oil and coconut oil. All foods that contain saturated fats should be limited.
2. Eliminate trans fats.
Now, those are very dangerous for your heath and it would be best if you never, ever consume foods containing those kind of fats.
“Trans fats are a byproduct of the chemical reaction that turns liquid vegetable oil into solid margarine or shortening and that prevents liquid vegetable oils from turning rancid. These fats have no nutritional value — and we know for certain they are bad for heart health. Trans fats increase LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels while reducing levels of HDL cholesterol.” – says www.health.harvard.edu.
In With The Good Stuff: Keep Cholesterol Under Control
Foods to eat that help lower cholesterol
OK, we avoid saturated fats, but what can we eat?… Keep away from the fatty animal products as shown above, and eat especially the good stuff as the same site tells us:
“1. Oats. An easy first step to improving your cholesterol is having a bowl of oatmeal or cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram. Current nutrition guidelines recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day, with at least 5 to 10 grams coming from soluble fiber. (The average American gets about half that amount.)
2. Barley and other whole grains. Like oats and oat bran, barley and other whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, mainly via the soluble fiber they deliver.
3. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take awhile for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That’s one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices — from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond — and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.
4. Eggplant and okra. These two low-calorie vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber.
5. Nuts. A bushel of studies shows that eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts is good for the heart. Eating 2 ounces of nuts a day can slightly lower LDL, on the order of 5%. Nuts have additional nutrients that protect the heart in other ways.
6. Vegetable oils. Using liquid vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, safflower, and others in place of butter, lard, or shortening when cooking or at the table helps lower LDL.
7. Apples, grapes, strawberries, citrus fruits. These fruits are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that lowers LDL.
8. Foods fortified with sterols and stanols. Sterols and stanols extracted from plants gum up the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol from food. Companies are adding them to foods ranging from margarine and granola bars to orange juice and chocolate. They’re also available as supplements. Getting 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols a day can lower LDL cholesterol by about 10%.
9. Soy. Eating soybeans and foods made from them, like tofu and soy milk, was once touted as a powerful way to lower cholesterol. Analyses show that the effect is more modest — consuming 25 grams of soy protein a day (10 ounces of tofu or 2 1/2 cups of soy milk) can lower LDL by 5% to 6%.
10. Fatty fish. Eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.
11. Fiber supplements. Supplements offer the least appealing way to get soluble fiber. Two teaspoons a day of psyllium, which is found in Metamucil and other bulk-forming laxatives, provide about 4 grams of soluble fiber.”
Is The Food Preparation Method Important In Cholesterol Absorption?
Yes, the method we use to prepare our food is important, as important studies have shown that it can influence the composition of fatty acids and cholesterol in foods:
“Broiled chicken without the skin has less saturated fat when compared with skinless fried chicken (1,505 vs. 7,645mg, p=0.049). Broiled shrimp also has a lower saturated fat content than fried shrimp (532 vs. 1,262mg, p=0.049). Broiled ribeye steak without fat has a lower cholesterol content when compared with the fried steak (102 vs. 114mg, p=0.049).[…]
CONCLUSION: The analysis indicates that the method of food preparation influences the fat content of foods, with potential impact on the prescription of low-fat and low-cholesterol diets.” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23582556
So, we should use the boiling method more often, over the fried one. I know, I know… the taste of fried chicken is better but… it is our heath status that should prevail. 😉
Does Specific Foods Help Lower Cholesterol?
Many people are searching the Internet information about specific foods that they hope or heard of being able to help reduce cholesterol levels. Let’s take a closer look and see.
Does Fiber Lower Cholesterol?
As we can see above, fiber indeed helps eliminate cholesterol from the body, especially soluble fiber. So, fruits and vegetables are highly recommended for cholesterol diets. However, the effect is small:
“The effect is small within the practical range of intake. For example, 3 g soluble fiber from oats (3 servings of oatmeal, 28 g each) can decrease total and LDL cholesterol by approximately 0.13 mmol/L. Increasing soluble fiber can make only a small contribution to dietary therapy to lower cholesterol.” – Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis
Does Red Yeast Rice Lower Cholesterol?
What is Red Yeast Rice?
According to www.webmd.com red yeast rice is “a substance that’s extracted from rice that’s been fermented with a type of yeast called Monascus purpureus. It’s been used in China and other Asian countries for centuries as a traditional medicine. […] RTRE naturally contains several ingredients that may help control cholesterol levels. These include a number of monacolins, most importantly monacolin K. It also contains sterols, isoflavones, and monounsaturated fatty acids, or “healthy fats.”
But, it may cause some potentially unwanted side effects, because the monacolin K is also known as ‘lovastatin’, so red yeast rice it is at the same time a supplement and a drug.The FDA cited a risk of severe muscle problems that could lead to kidney disease.
However, “a number of small trials show that red yeast rice and simvastatin produce similar lipid-lowering effects. Larger trials with increased methodological rigour and trials with clinical outcomes are necessary for more robust inferences.” – systematic review of red yeast rice compared with simvastatin in dyslipidaemia
Does Garlic Lower Cholesterol?
Yes! It is one of those medicinal foods with multiple health benefits. Eat lots of them, if you’re not having a digestive problem.
“Our review suggests that garlic supplements have the potential to lower blood pressure in hypertensive individuals, to regulate slightly elevated cholesterol concentrations, and to stimulate the immune system. Garlic supplements are highly tolerated and may be considered as a complementary treatment option for hypertension, slightly elevated cholesterol, and stimulation of immunity.” – Garlic Lowers Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Individuals, Regulates Serum Cholesterol, and Stimulates Immunity: An Updated Meta-analysis and Review
“Clinical and experimental evidence indicates that garlic ingestion lowers blood cholesterol levels, and treatment of cells in culture with garlic and garlic-derived compounds inhibits cholesterol synthesis” – Inhibition of sterol 4alpha-methyl oxidase is the principal mechanism by which garlic decreases cholesterol synthesis
Does Fish Oil Lower Cholesterol?
Fish oil represents the ‘healthy fat’. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are very good for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system, reducing oxidative stress and for overall good health.
“Fish oil combined with a low cholesterol, low saturated fat diet has been shown to produce complementary effects. Total plasma cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were lowered by the low cholesterol, low saturated fat diet, whereas plasma triglyceride and VLDL were decreased by the fish oil. In most situations, the use of fish oil supplements should be regarded as pharmacologic therapy, particularly effective in severe hypertriglyceridemic states.” – N-3 fatty acids from fish oil. Effects on plasma lipoproteins and hypertriglyceridemic patients.
“Fish and fish oil supplements are often used to lower triglycerides; however, recent studies suggest the beneficial use of fish oil for other cardiovascular reasons. Studies have shown that in addition to decreasing triglycerides, fish oil has shown benefit in providing antiplatelet activity, improving heart failure, and improving vascular function in diabetes. Fish oil was shown to improve triglycerides in combination with other lipid-lowering therapy such as a statin or fibrate. Fish oil also had effects on lowering total cholesterol, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), and increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL). ” – Fish oil: what is the role in cardiovascular health?
Does Green Tea Lower Cholesterol?
Green tea is considered to have multiple benefits on our health. However, the research about it’s lipid lowering effects are controversial as not many studies have been conducted about the subject.
Some did say that: “The consumption of Green tea catechins (GTCs) is associated with a statistically significant reduction in total and LDL cholesterol levels; however, there was no significant effect on HDL cholesterol or triglyceride levels.” – Green tea catechins decrease total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: a systematic review and meta-analysis
“The analysis of eligible studies showed that the administration of green tea beverages or extracts resulted in significant reductions in serum TC and LDL-cholesterol concentrations, but no effect on HDL cholesterol was observed.” – Green tea intake lowers fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol in adults: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials
More Useful Information And Further References:
“trans Fatty acids are formed during the process of partial hydrogenation in which liquid vegetable oils are converted to margarine and vegetable shortening.[…] In these same studies, trans fatty acids increased the plasma ratio of total to HDL cholesterol nearly twofold compared with saturated fats” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9322581
“Plant sterols and stanols are natural food ingredients found in plants. It was already shown in 1950 that they lower serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations. Meta-analysis has reported that a daily intake of 2.5 g plant sterols/stanols reduced serum LDL-C concentrations up to 10%.” – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mnfr.201100722/full
Learn the benefits of the Mediterranean diet – https://heartuk.org.uk/cholesterol-and-diet/mediterranean-diet
“Recent studies have shown that incorporating moderate quantities of walnuts into the recommended cholesterol-lowering diet in the U.S. decreased serum concentrations of total cholesterol.” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10720165
“Effect on LDL-cholesterol of a large dose of a dietary supplement with plant extracts in subjects with untreated moderate hypercholesterolaemia” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23266743
“Herbs for serum cholesterol reduction: a systematic view” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12791229
“Nutritional supplements and serum lipids: does anything work?” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19852889