Diet To Lower CholesterolA good, healthful diet has a lot to do with helping lower cholesterol levels. When people say, 'you are what you eat', they mean that anything you ingest will affect how your body functions and therefore how you yourself become. So what's a good, healthful diet that can effectively lower cholesterol? Perhaps we should look eastward for clues.
The Japanese dietJapan has been known to have one of the world's longest life expectancies, thanks to regular diet that lowers cholesterol and prevents heart diseases. Many Japanese people live healthy lives well into their 80s and 90s while some remain remarkably strong and sharp at more than a hundred years old. The reason, according to research studies, is that the Japanese diet is low in fat. They tend to stay away from cholesterol-laden food, which is exactly the opposite of what most Americans do.
The Japanese has an average cholesterol count that is at least 20% lower than most Americans, proof that lowering cholesterol has everything to do with diet and not with genetics. This is shown in the high cholesterol levels of Japanese-Americans who subsist on the average American diet.
Maintaining a diet to lower cholesterol You don't have to include sushi and seaweeds in your daily diet in order to lower your cholesterol. There are plenty of food groups in the American diet that can be picked to keep your heart strong and healthy. Here are some of the choices you can make to improve your diet and lower your cholesterol levels:
FiberConsider fiber, specifically soluble fiber, as the vacuum cleaner of your body. Cholesterol and other fats are found in the bile. Fiber binds with bile and is excreted from your body. This is done before your intestines absorb cholesterol, effectively lowering your levels and keeping you healthy.
Where to get it: oatmeal is a great source of fiber and can effectively reduce bad cholesterol, also known as LDL (low-density lipoprotein). One and a half cups of oatmeal contains about 4½ grams. That should lower your LDL cholesterol by approximately 5%. You can also alternate oat meal with unprocessed oat bran or psyllium fiber to add variety, or add foods such as brussels sprouts, kidney beans, pears, apples, barley and prunes.
Fight fat with fatInclude fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your diet such as salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, sardines, trout and herring in your diet to help lower cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids are known for reducing the risks of hypertension and blood clotting. Serve 2 to 3 servings every week baked, steamed or grilled.
You can also use oils derived from flax seed, canola, soybean and walnuts when cooking. These are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids and are an ideal part of your diet to lower cholesterol.
Low-cholesterol snacksNext time you're hungry between meals, don't reach out for a doughnut or chocolate bar. Keep packs of cut fresh fruits and raw vegetables in handy. You can also add a little sweetness with naturally dried fruits such as prunes, raisins and mangoes. You can also snack on whole-grain crackers and baked tortilla chips, both very filling but healthy snack alternatives.
Diet is really a matter of choice and if you make it a point to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you don't have to end up enslaved by food that will pose a risk to your health. Lowering your cholesterol can be done effectively as long as you're willing to make simple changes in your diet and lifestyle.