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How to Reduce Cholesterol

Fruit and GrapesCholesterol is a kind of waxy substance that is produced by liver. A blend of lipid and steroid, cholesterol serves as a building block for cell tissues and is indispensable for the healthy functioning of hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. Its role is also inevitable for the secretion of bile acids, which in turn aids for the fat digestion. However, sometimes a human body may produce more cholesterol due to the increased intake of food containing saturated fat that may eventually circulate in the blood stream, thereby increasing the risk to develop such devastating ailments as coronary heart diseases, stroke, peripheral vascular diseases, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

But, not all cholesterols are harmful. In other words, one of the two types of cholesterols namely high density lipoprotein (HDL) helps to minimize the chances of heart diseases, in addition to clearing the bad cholesterol in the form of low density lipoprotein (LDL), which in long run may clog the arteries and leads to atherosclerosis. One could elevate HDL and lower LDL without taking any medications through making some alterations in the diet plan by including in it food items such as fruits, vegetables, skinless chicken, and a small quantity of fish.

How much oatmeal is needed to reduce cholesterol?

Since it is a rich source of soluble fiber, selenium, manganese, and magnesium, oatmeal helps to lower LDL however without lowering the HDL or good cholesterol. Benefits that could be derived as a result of the intake of oatmeal are more than just reduction of LDL and also help to lose weight and minimize the chances of developing certain types of cancer. Further, it serves as a vitamin pill, as it is enriched with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. According to records, it is recommended to intake five to ten grams of soluble fiber per day for best results. It is estimated that a bowl of oatmeal contains about three to five grams of soluble fiber.

List of foods that will reduce cholesterol

In addition to oatmeal, intake of certain other food items is regarded effective to reduce cholesterol, which among many others, are:

  1. ApplesAs in the case of oatmeal, apples are also a rich source of antioxidants, flavonoids, and pectin – a kind of soluble fiber, all of which work together to combat bad cholesterol.
  2. Brown Rice – Enriched with fibers such as magnesium and B vitamins, brown rice is a whole grain food that helps to lower cholesterol. It is also heart-healthy.
  3. Beans – They are rich in vegetable protein and are regarded as a healthy alternative over using red meat protein that has high content of saturated fat.
  4. Cinnamon – According to the studies revealed by Diabetes Care (journal), the intake of half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day not only helps to reduce cholesterol but also helps to reduce blood sugar level in people suffering from diabetes (type 2).
  5. Fish – Including at least two servings of omega-3 enriched fish such as anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, and mackerel per week would help to lower cholesterol, apart from keeping your heart healthy.
  6. Garlic – With a rich source of chemical allicin, garlic not only helps to kill harmful bacteria and fungi that may cause digestive disorders but also helps to minimize LDL cholesterol levels.
  7. Grapes – The flavonoids contained in grapes is considered effective to lower LDL cholesterol and minimize platelet clumping. In order to derive the complete benefits of grapes, it is advisable to intake black grapes.
  8. Soy – A specialty of soy products such as soybeans, soymilk, soy nuts, tofu, and tempeh is that they are rich in isoflavones – an element that acts like a human hormone to lower LDL and bump up HDL.
  9. Walnuts – With high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts helps for the significant reduction of blood cholesterol levels.
  10. Margarines – Since it is low fat and contains high content of water, diet margarines can be used as a healthy substitute over using fatty dairy products such as butter.

Additionally, the intake of food items such as probiotic yoghurt, ground flaxseed, almonds, and olive oil are also considered effective to combat bad cholesterol. Don't forget about foods that help lower blood pressure.

PillsDo fiber pills reduce cholesterol?

Nowadays, many people use supplements in the form of fiber pills to reduce bad cholesterol levels. Psyllium and Guar gum are considered effective to lower cholesterol and lose weight. However, it would be better if you consult with a registered medical practitioner prior to its intake. Further, for best results, it is recommended to procure fiber that is required for your body through the intake of healthy foods.

Reduce cholesterol diet plans

The American Heart Association opines that adopting a step wise strategy would help to lower LDL cholesterol levels, which include:

  • Step I Diet – This diet plan is for beginners and advocates that the intake of fat should not be more than 30% of calories. Likewise, the intake of saturated food should not be more than 10% of calories.
  • Step II Diet – This diet is recommended for people with heart disease and it imposes further restriction on the intake of saturated fat that it should not be more than 7% of calories.
  • Low Fat Diet – It is devised for people with chronic heart ailments and it includes the complete elimination of all kinds of meat, dairy, and fat items.
  • Mediterranean Diet – It involves the increased intake of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

    Also see low cholesterol diet

Other Nutrient Rich Foods

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