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Cholesterol is a steroid lipid (fat) found in the blood that is required for cell membrane function, vitamin D production, and the production of certain hormones. Heart disease and stroke are linked to high cholesterol levels. Cholesterol-lowering foods are therefore an ideal addition to anyone's diet for good health and prevention.
1. Substituting healthy fats like olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and avocados for saturated animal fats reduces LDL cholesterol significantly. In one study, people who ate a diet rich in olive and sunflower oil, which contains 12.9 percent saturated fat, 15.1 percent monounsaturated fat, and 7.9 percent polyunsaturated fat, had an 18 percent lower LDL cholesterol than those who ate a diet rich in saturated fat.
2. Up to 50 grams of flax seeds per day has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol by up to 8% in healthy young adults and 38 grams of flax seeds per day has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol by 14% in people with high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia). Flax seeds were eaten in a muffin or other bread product in both studies. Flax seeds are quickly mixed into baked goods and hot cereals such as oatmeal.
3. Bran, specifically oat bran, has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Bran can be added to hot cereals and bread. It's also a good idea to eat whole oatmeal every morning and turn to whole-grain items like brown rice.
4. According to several reports, consuming up to half a cup of almonds can lower cholesterol levels by up to 10%. A dose-response analysis discovered that a quarter cup of almonds lowers cholesterol by 5%, while half a cup lowers cholesterol by 10%. Almonds are delicious as a snack or in breakfast cereals like oatmeal.
5. According to studies, eating less than half a clove (900mg) of raw garlic per day will reduce cholesterol by 9-12%. The best garlic is raw garlic, which can be used in salad dressings with olive oil or as a garnish on soups and sandwiches.
6. Numerous studies show that eating walnuts or pistachios lowers cholesterol levels.This is particularly true when the fats from nuts are used to replace saturated fats in the diet. To get the cholesterol-lowering effects, you'll need to eat about 30 grams of walnuts.
7. The carotenoid pigment lycopene is responsible for the red color of fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes, watermelon, and other foods rich in lycopene contain it. The evidence on whether or not lycopene lowers LDL cholesterol is mixed. Some studies indicate a reduction of 10-17 percent, while others show no difference. Regardless of this distinction, lycopene is thought to enhance heart health in general, regardless of whether it reduces LDL cholesterol.
Remember to always diet well!
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