Foods to Improve your Cholesterol
8 Foods That Help Lower Your Cholesterol
Cut the Animal Fat in Your Diet and Add LDL-Lowering Foods
My patients often ask me if there are any foods that can help with reducing high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This is the so-called "bad" cholesterol that can cause plaque to form in your coronary artery walls, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. My answer is a qualified "yes," since high LDL can be the result of many factors, including poor genes, obesity, and lack of exercise. For this reason, not everyone will react to dietary changes the same way, and optimal LDL levels are different for every individual.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body uses to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest food. At normal levels, it’s essential for health, but if the concentration in the blood becomes too high, LDL, the so-called "bad" cholesterol can build up in your arteries forming plaques that put you at risk for cardiovascular disease, including chest pain (angina), heart attack, and stroke.
If these plaques rupture or tear, a blood clot can form at the site — blocking blood flow. Sometimes, a clot breaks free, moving from the affected artery to smaller blood vessels. A heart attack can result if the clot blocks blood flow to part of your heart. Similarly, a stroke can occur when a clot subsequently blocks blood to part of your brain. People with high levels of LDL are also at risk for developing peripheral artery disease (PAD), an often undiagnosed condition in which plaque gradually forms inside the walls of the arteries that carry blood to the head, stomach, arms, and legs. Persons with PAD are at increased risk for coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke, or even gangrene and amputation.
Frequently, too much LDL is the result of a diet rich in saturated fats (usually from animal foods such as beef, butter, lard, and whole-milk dairy products) and trans fats (found in processed and fast foods). Eliminating these foods from your diet is a good first step in improving your LDL. Then try adding some or all of the following LDL-lowering foods every day.
Video: Nutrition : Food Recipes to Lower Cholesterol
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