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What foods are good for lowering cholesterol?

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Health authorities have been warning for many years about the risks to human health associated with a high level of LDL cholesterol in the blood.

Not surprisingly, and as explained by the Mayo Clinic, an institution for dissemination and medical research, high cholesterol can cause an accumulation of cholesterol on the walls of the arteries, which can reduce blood flow through the same and cause multiple problems such as chest pain, heart attack or stroke.

For this reason, it is essential to minimize the potential risk factors for an increase in bad cholesterol.

Among them, again, according to Mayo Clinic experts, are tobacco, diabetes, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle or an unbalanced diet that is excessively rich in saturated fat and trans fat.

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At the end of the day, and it happens with so many other health issues, eating a balanced diet based on whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, or nuts, and with moderate amounts of animal products, is the best way to prevent cholesterol.

However, today we ask ourselves a different question: What foods to eat to lower cholesterol once it is high?

It is a much more concrete issue and we go to Harvard Health Publishing, the official medium of Harvard Medical School, to find the answers. From there, they report at least ten very effective foods in combating high levels of LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein).

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Among them are oats and barley, two whole grains very rich in fiber. The secret? Soluble fiber helps us as it binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they enter circulation. It is one of the many beneficial properties of dietary fiber.

The same occurs with other foods, such as beans, aubergines, or fruits, among which some are especially rich in fiber, such as apples, grapes, fresh or citrus fruits. The key is back in the fiber.

Even though it is not always like that. There are other foods that are beneficial for fighting cholesterol because they provide polyunsaturated fats that directly reduce LDL.

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And in this category we find some, such as walnuts (and other dried fruits), vegetable oils or graded fish. In the case of consuming them as a substitute for butter, lard or meat, the benefit is doubled.

Finally, there are foods that contain plant sterols and stanols, natural extracts that have the ability to prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol. As they assure us from Harvard Health Publishing, companies are adding them to foods ranging from margarine and granola bars to orange juice or chocolate.

These substances are so effective that getting two grams of plant sterols or stanols a day can lower LDL cholesterol by approximately 10%. Having said all this, and as always, it should be a medical specialist who establishes the best treatment.

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