As we observe “cholesterol awareness month” this September here are a few tips to deal with it.
Diet can play an important role in lowering your cholesterol. Here are five foods that can lower your cholesterol and protect your heart.
OATS AND HIGH FIBRE FOODS Oatmeal contains soluble fibre which reduces your low density lipoprotein [LDL]the bad cholesterol. Soluble fibre is also found in such foods as kidney beans apples pears prunes and barley. Soluble fibre can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Around five to ten grams or more of soluble fibre a day decrease your total and LDL cholesterol.
FISH AND OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS Eating fatty fish can be heart healthy because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. The American Heart association recommends eating at least two servings of fish a week. Bake grill or boil the fish to avoid adding unhealthy fats. If you do not like fish you can also get small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from foods like ground flax seeds or canola oil.
WALNUTS ALMONDS AND OTHER NUTS Walnuts almonds and other nuts can reduce blood cholesterol. Rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy. Eating about a handful a day of most nuts such as almonds peanuts some pine nuts pistachio nuts and walnuts may reduce your risk of heart disease. Just make sure the nuts they are not salted or coated with sugar. All nuts are high in calories so replace foods high in saturated fat with nuts. For example instead of having deep fried snacks have a handful of walnuts or almonds.
OLIVE OIL Try using about two tablespoons of olive oil a day in place of other fats in your diet to get its heart healthy benefits. To add olive oil to your diet you can saute vegetables in it add it to a marinade or mix it with vinegar as a salad dressing. Olive oil is high in calories so donot eat more than the recommended amount
SOY PROTEIN Using soy foods such tofu and soy beans instead of animal protein have a modest role in lowering the bad cholesterol. A 20-40 grams of soy can be taken daily
OTHER CHANGES For any of these foods to provide their benefit you need to make other changes to your diet and lifestyle. Losing weight and exercising regularly have proven beneficial role in management of cholesterol. Limiting fat/oil intake elimination trans fats including plenty of whole grains fruits and vegetables in the diet can reduce your blood cholesterol and improve your heart health
COURTESY ESTHER SATHIARAJ THE HINDU