1. Eat less saturated fat
Saturated fat is found in hamburgers, steaks, butter, cheese and ice cream. To reduce your chances of heart attack, eat skinless chicken breast, fish, olive or canola oil and frozen yogurt.
By limiting your daily intake of saturated fats to less than 7% of your calories – about 15 milliliters (one tablespoon) of butter or a slice of cheddar and 125 milliliters (1/2 cup) of ice cream if you ingest 1,800 Calories per day – you can lower your LDL levels by nine to 11%.
2. Banish the word “hydrogenated” from your menu
Read the back of a bag of chips or a box of cookies, crackers or baked goods, you are sure to find the words “partially hydrogenated oil” on the list of ingredients.
These oils, also known as trans fats, extend the shelf life of a product.
However, they can reduce your lifespan by increasing LDL and triglycerides, reducing HDL and therefore increasing your chances of having a heart attack.
For a study, 50 men with good cholesterol levels ate trans fats for five weeks. Their LDL levels increased by 5% and their HDL levels dropped to 11%, which is bad for the heart.
Food served in restaurants and fast food chains – especially fried foods – can also be high in trans fats. Many restaurants have promised to change the oil in their fryers, but they have not all kept their promise.
3. Eat oats, barley or beans every day
These three foods contain a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan.
Beta-glucan acts like a sponge. It traps bile acids high in cholesterol in the intestine so that they are eliminated before they increase your cholesterol.
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Whole cereals, such as complete flour bread and brown rice, which are rich in insoluble fiber, will not do the trick.
According to a study of 36 overweight people, those who consumed two large daily servings of foods high in soluble fiber had their LDL lowered by 17%.
4. Fill up with lawyers
If you have not yet discovered the rich and creamy flavor of avocados, it’s time. Cut one and enjoy a few snack pieces, add it to your salads or use it in your sandwiches or on a chili instead of the cheese.
According to one study, women and men who ate one avocado a day for a week saw total cholesterol fall by 17%.
The “bad” LDL cholesterol has dropped, and the “good” HDL cholesterol has increased. Why? Avocados are incredibly rich in monounsaturated fatty acids healthy for the heart.
They also contain good levels of beta-sitosterol – the same substance found in some anti-cholesterol margarines.
5. Snack on nuts
This may seem contradictory, since nuts are fat, but they are really good for your cholesterol. This is due in part to the monounsaturated fatty acids they contain.
Choosing almonds instead of donuts, crisps or pretzels for your daily snack could reduce your “bad” cholesterol by up to 10%.
A bonus: Vitamin E almonds and flavonoids of its skin protect the LDL from oxidation – the first step in the development of plaque blocking the arteries.
Dietary adjustments, active lifestyles and stress reduction are the most effective ways to fight cholesterol. Apply the above tips to your daily life and you will see the wonderful difference. Your heart will thank you.
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