Foods that Lower Cholesterol
Learn about Foods that are Helpful in Managing and Reducing High Cholesterol
Cholesterol lowering foods - this may sound like an oxymoron! However, studies prove that some foods can assist in the reduction of cholesterol and could be incorporated into your low cholesterol diet plan.
Cholesterol Lowering Margarine
Recently, cholesterol lowering margarines have been introduced to the market. Benecol® is one of the products that have been confirmed to lower cholesterol on an average of 10% if used as recommended. In addition, this margarine does not affect your HDL, or "good" cholesterol. Other products include Take Control® margarine and salad dressings that are made from plant sterols which contain the proven cholesterol lowering substance, Beta-sitosterol, which are extracted from soybeans. These sterols trick your intestine into thinking they are cholesterol and when it tries to absorb them, it is not able to, therefore blocking cholesterol.
Cholesterol lowering quality of soy protein was evidenced when FDA approved the health claim for its effects on risk of heart disease. To achieve the intended results, you have to consume at least four servings of 6.25 grams of soy protein, totaling your daily intake to 25 grams per day. Many food manufacturers have since introduced soy beverages and energy bars containing up to 10 to 20 grams of soy protein. People with high cholesterol - levels of 260-300, soy protein has been shown to reduce cholesterol by 15-25%.
Nuts such as almonds and walnuts that have high amounts of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, also help to lower cholesterol, Researchers at the Loma Linda University found that a diet containing pecans not only lowered total and LDL (bad) cholesterol significantly but also helped to maintain desirable levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Another study conducted by the same University found that a Mediterranean style diet that included walnuts lowered cholesterol.
Oats and Barley
In lowering cholesterol, oats and barley have played a critical role. These foods have a soluble fiber known as Beta Glucan, which is the key, in how they lower the cholesterol. To gain the intended cholesterol lowering effect, you have to consume anywhere between two and four cups of dry oat or barley cereal each day.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables such as apples, citrus fruit, berries, carrots, apricots, cabbage, and sweet potatoes are high in soluble fiber and pectin both shown to be helpful in lowering cholesterol. At least five servings a day is recommended to benefit the full effect.
Flaxseed provides alpha-linolenic acid a poly-unsaturated fat which has been shown to lower cholesterol while providing needed soluble fiber. Flaxseed is naturally rich in omega-3 oil, which is proven to lower bad cholesterol.
Olive oil is one of the mono-saturated fats and studies have shown that it lowers blood cholesterol. Extra virgin olive oil is suggested to be better than other varieties.
According to researchers, fish containing omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids make the blood more slippery and less likely to clot in addition to lowering blood cholesterol. The fish that contain the beneficial Omega-3 are all cold water species. First choice, wild salmon (farmed salmon may contain toxins). Other beneficial fish include Mackerel, and anchovies. If fish does not fit your diet replace it with fish oil rich in omega-3. Here is safe deepwater toxin-free fish oil.