Our tug-of-war between good and bad cholesterol can mean the difference between a long and healthy life and the one filled with health related problems.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the so-called bad cholesterol that clogs up arteries. But adding the super healthy food we listed here to you diet, and watching your proportions as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can lessen or even eliminate the effects of bad cholesterol in your system.
Eat the beans, or have it in milk or in many different recipes for tofu. However way you eat soy, you'll reap the benefits of the high vitamin B levels, iron, calcium, and anti-oxidants that raise good cholesterol and lower LDL.
According to Heart UK, a Cholesterol Charity, "30-35g a day of nuts (a handful) has the potential to lower cholesterol by an average of 5 percent." All nuts are rich in vegetable proteins, unsaturated fats, fibre, magnesium, vitamin E, and other plant nutrients. Almonds in particular contain high calorie fats which make LDL cholesterol less likely to oxidize and gunk up your arteries.
3. Whole Grains
According to the Whole Grains Council, studies on animals and different populations around the world have shown time and time again that diets containing whole grains have many benefits from insulin sensitivity to lowering LDL, as well as controlling blood sugar levels and reducing heart risk.
This creamy fruit is a healthy kitchen substituter's dream. Use it in guacamole, hummus, as a mayo substitute in sandwiches, or even just sprinkles with a pinch of sea salt or honey.
5. Cabbage and Kale
Often listed as one of the world's healthiest foods, cabbage, kale, and other green leafy vegetables help with cardiovascular support, especially when steamed. "When you eat cabbage, fiber-related nutrients in this cruciferous vegetable bind together with some of the bile acids in the intestine in such a way that they simply stay inside the intestine and pass out of your body in a bowel movement, rather than getting absorbed along with the fat they have emulsified," says the World's Healthiest Foods.
Not just for bunnies and good eyesight, carrot is a cholesterol-free food which is full of soluble fibres which help carry away bile acids through the gastrointestinal tract until the body excretes them as waste.
7. Fatty Fish
Replacing red meat with the right kind of fish give the body a boost of Omega-3 which reduces triglycerides and prevents abnormal heart rhythms.
An apple a day not only keeps the doctor away but is rich in pectins which lower LDL levels significantly.
9. Red Wine
A glass of red wine has fewer carbohydrates than a cocktail and contain antioxidants such as flavonoids which are believed to boost good cholesterol. But medical experts agree that you should still limit your red wine intake to about 1 or 2 glasses a day.
10. Green Tea
Researchers are still not quite sure what exactly is in Green Tea that helps lower bad cholesterol. However, studies have found that "men who drink green tea are more likely to have lower total cholesterol than those who do not drink green tea."
Studies have shown that people who ate half a cup of pinto beans a day were able to reduce their bad cholesterol by 8 percent in just 12 weeks. Beans are also high in fibre which makes them slower to digest, making the stomach feel fuller longer and aiding in weight loss and dieting.
12. Oats and Oat Bran
A bowl of oats for breakfast give you about 1 to 2 grams of soluble fibre of the recommended 5 to 10 grams per day.
Whether fresh, freeze dried, or frozen, these sweet treats support liver function and help blast away LDL .
14. Orange Juice
An 8-ounce glass of O.J. in the morning is enough to lower bad cholesterol levels in the body. But if the acidity in the citrus will interact with any of your medication, Dr. Oz says that you can also reap the same benefits with "sterol-fortified margarine, milk, soymilk, cheese or breads instead."
15. Olive Oil
Use olive oil in place of butter, lard, or shortening when cooking. Other vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, or grape oils are also more beneficial. Olive oil is full of phenolics which reduce the risk of blood clots and all you need is 2 tablespoons of olive oil a day to get the benefits.