What causes high cholesterol? 5 foods to add to your low cholesterol diet

What causes high cholesterol? 5 Foods To Add To Your Low Cholesterol Diet Photo credit: Thinkstock

New Delhi: Having high levels of cholesterol, especially LDL (low density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol, is linked to an increased risk of heart disease or stroke. But medications as well as lifestyle changes, including eating a healthy diet, can help improve your cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that a person’s diet can have a powerful effect on their cholesterol levels and other risk factors.

High cholesterol, also called hypercholesterolemia, occurs when you have fatty deposits in your blood vessels. These deposits can eventually restrict blood flow and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke. The problem is, high cholesterol has no symptoms and can be detected by a blood test.

High cholesterol: what are the causes?

This condition is often caused by a poor lifestyle, although it can be hereditary. Making healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent or reduce the risk of bad cholesterol. Eating a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and beans can help keep your cholesterol levels at healthy levels. Here are five foods that make up a good cholesterol diet while lowering your risk for certain conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and cancer.

Foods That Lower Cholesterol and Improve Heart Health

Whole grains: Whole grain sources like oats, quinoa, and barley contain beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that has been shown to be effective in lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies have suggested that whole grains can promote heart health.

Legumes: Legumes like beans and peas are another healthy option to add to your low cholesterol diet because they are high in nutrients, especially soluble fiber. They’re a great source of plant-based protein that lowers triglycerides and blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.

Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other tree nuts are exceptionally nutrient dense foods that are good for your heart. They are high in monounsaturated fats which can benefit the heart when consumed in moderation. Nuts are high in cholesterol-lowering fats, fiber, and minerals that can improve heart health.

Garlic: Scientific studies suggest that garlic contains cholesterol-lowering properties that may be beneficial for people with high cholesterol. Allicin, the main active compound in garlic, and other plant compounds in the herb may help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce other risk factors for heart disease. Still, it can be noted that the results are contradictory as some studies dispute the effectiveness of using garlic for lowering cholesterol.

Berries: Berries are a great source of soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels. Research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed blackberries to have the highest LDL inhibitory effect, followed by red raspberries, sweet cherries, blueberries and strawberries. Adding berries that are rich in antioxidants to your diet can help lower cholesterol and keep your heart healthy.

Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting a fitness program or making any changes to your diet.

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