If you have ever been in a health class, or picked up a popular magazine, you know about cholesterol and that lowering cholesterol levels is linked to improving overall health. Although some of us may not fully understand what cholesterol is, we still know the impact of tracking it and finding foods that help aid in lowering it, if advised to do so.
It is important to know the difference between low cholesterol foods and cholesterol-lowering foods. For a food to be considered low cholesterol, it must have less than 20mg of cholesterol per serving. Cholesterol-lowering foods, however, include antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and other ingredients that have demonstrated effectiveness in lowering bad cholesterol levels. Cholesterol-lowering foods are always low cholesterol foods, but low cholesterol foods are not always cholesterol-lowering.
We all know foods such as fish and spinach are known for lowering cholesterol levels, but there are plenty of foods we eat each day that you may not know are just as effective at lowering cholesterol levels.
Pears are high in the fibers pectin and lignin. Pectin is a soluble fiber that’s able to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed. Lignin is an insoluble fiber that binds to cholesterol to prevent absorption.
Whole grains, oats and oatmeal are full of soluble fiber and bind with fats to remove them from the intestinal tract to prevent low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from sticking to the arteries. According to the American Heart Association, LDL cholesterol is considered the “bad” cholesterol as it contributes to plaque that can clog the arteries and make them less flexible.
This fermented vegetable side dish demonstrated, in a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels by 8-10%.
Cumin has been proven to reduce serum levels of fasting cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL, as well as increasing HDL levels (high-density lipoprotein – the “good” cholesterol).
Almonds are higher in Vitamin E than any other type of nut, and the antioxidants in them are proven to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol.
Load up the guacamole and reap the benefits of monounsaturated fats, plant sterols such as beta-sitosterol, all of which help lower LDL levels and keep cholesterol from being absorbed.
As part of the tests performed on your blood, Carter BloodCare provides you with a measurement of non-fasting, total cholesterol. The results of all these health screenings are available online within three days after your donation, and you can click here to determine what your numbers mean.