Certain foods score exceedingly well in their efficiency in lowering cholesterol. These foods are also known as “cholesterol busters.” Opting for healthy meals that are low in saturated fats is vital when it comes to keeping a check on your cholesterol levels. That being said, you can further reduce your cholesterol levels by including the 6 awesome foods listed below in your daily diet.
(1) Soya Foods
Soya foods top the list of lowering cholesterol foods because they score low in the saturated fat content. In addition, the protein content in soy foods plays a significant role in regulating cholesterol levels in the body. Some studies have proven that they help in lowering cholesterol levels by as much as 6% by consuming 15g of soy protein each day.
(2) Oats and Barley
Whole-grain foods such as oats and barley are an excellent source of soluble fiber that is called beta-glucan. Post consumption, beta glucan leads to formation of a gel that assists in binding cholesterol in the gut and preventing it from being absorbed. The ideal content of beta-glucan to be consumed each day is pegged at 3 grams.
All types of nuts are an excellent source of vegetable protein, heart-healthy unsaturated fats, dietary fibre, Vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, plant sterols, and a wide range of healthy plant nutrients. Consumption of approximately 30-35 grams of nuts each day has the capability to reduce cholesterol by an average of 5%.
(4) Fruits and Veggies
All fruits and veggies contain low amounts of saturated fat; thus, consuming them in adequate quantities can limit the intake of saturated fat. Fruits and veggies are also a rich source of soluble fibres that help lower cholesterol levels. Make it a point to consume at least one type of pulse, such as lentils, peas, or beans, each day.
(5) Foods rich in Unsaturated Fats
In an ideal scenario, the best way to lower cholesterol is to keep the daily intake of saturated fat to a minimum. This daily intake stands at 20g for women and 30g for men. That being said, it is equally vital to effectively replace this intake of saturated fat with healthy amounts of unsaturated fats, like those found in sunflower, olive, rapeseed, corn, as well as other vegetable, seed, and nut oils. Other awesome foods that are a rich source of unsaturated fat include fish, avocado, and vegetable spreads. Skip palm oil and coconut oil as they contain high amounts of saturated fats.
(6) Foods Fortified with Plant Stanols and Sterols
Plant sterols are similar in structure to cholesterol and can be further divided into stanols and sterols. Recent studies have shown that these help in lowering cholesterol. Plant stanols as well as sterols are naturally found in a vast range of foods, including whole grains, seeds, nuts, vegetable oils, veggies, and fruits. Consuming 1.5-2.4g of plant stanols/sterols each day can reduce cholesterol levels by 7-10% over a period of 2-3 weeks.
Therefore, there you had it: 6 awesome foods that help in lowering cholesterol.