Have you just been told by your doctor that your total blood cholesterol is out of whack, but it’s something that can still be corrected by opting for healthy eating habits and lifestyle? Then this article is for you. Read on to learn how you can have your cholesterol lowered by including certain foods in your diet.

When cholesterol is mentioned, most people think about the bad kind — the one that can clog up the arteries and increase a person’s risk of having a heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

However, there is also the good kind of cholesterol, which is something that drives bad cholesterol in the arteries back to the liver where it will be processed for elimination. This good cholesterol is known as HDL or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, while the bad counterpart is referred to as LDL or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

It can be very challenging for anyone to remember which is which. So to save yourself from getting confused, allow the “H” in “HDL cholesterol” to stand for “healthy”, and let the “L” in “LDL cholesterol” to stand for “lousy”. But in this article, we will simply refer to them as good and bad cholesterol.

While there are foods that you should steer clear of because they are high in bad cholesterol, there are also foods that you should welcome into your life because they help raise the levels of good cholesterol in your bloodstream — the more good cholesterol you have, the lower your bad cholesterol gets.

So without further ado, here are some of the foods that can help increase your good cholesterol:

Fatty Fish

Just because there’s the word “fatty” in “fatty fish” doesn’t mean that it’s something that can make your cholesterol go through the roof further. Actually, what makes such type of fish fatty is its omega-3 fatty acids content which helps boost your good cholesterol levels. The more fatty fish you eat, the lesser your bad cholesterol gets.

There are so many different fatty fish options out there that can keep your diet from being boring. Some great examples include herring, trout, salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna.

Nuts

When you feel like snacking, reach for a handful of almonds, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia, peanuts or just about any other nut of your liking. That’s because nuts are also phenomenal boosters of good cholesterol.

Aside from boosting your good cholesterol levels, nuts are scientifically-proven to also decrease the absorption of bad cholesterol in the food you eat — there are the so-called plant sterols in nuts that make that happen.

Seeds

Other than nuts, you may also have your good cholesterol increased and your bad cholesterol decreased by adding more seeds into your everyday diet. And if it’s not just high blood cholesterol that is your problem but also hypertension, seeds are perfect for you because they also help in lowering the blood pressure.

Some of the best seeds for you to much on or sprinkle on your oatmeal, yogurt or salad include flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds.

Olive Oil

If you are bent on lowering your cholesterol levels, get rid of all the oils in your kitchen and have a bottle of extra virgin olive oil. It is proven by scientists that extra virgin olive oil is very good at boosting good cholesterol.

You may actually use extra virgin olive oil for cooking, but only at low temperatures — high temperatures can damage extra virgin olive oil. Aside from using it for cooking, you may also drizzle your salads with extra virgin olive oil. Feel free to toss some olives into your diet, too!

To effectively have your total blood cholesterol lowered, it’s also important for you to go on a low-carb diet, shed off excess pounds, quit smoking, limit alcohol intake, and stay away from foods with trans fat.

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