Nosh on these 5 foods to reduce your cholesterol and keep your heart happy
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 11, 2023
Your heart may crave burgers and fries, but it certainly doesn’t need them. Unhealthy food habits can lead to clogged arteries and make it difficult for your heart to function properly. High cholesterol levels are a major cause of heart attacks and coronary heart diseases. However, there are certain foods that can naturally help you prevent clogged arteries.
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What Happens When Your Cholesterol is High?
When your arteries are clogged with high levels of cholesterol, they become narrow, restricting smooth blood flow. It’s time to blame all those fatty foods you love to indulge in!
Dr. Tarun Sahni, a senior consultant in Internal Medicine at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, emphasizes that the frequency of unhealthy food habits is a major factor that determines cholesterol levels in the body.
How to Keep Your Cholesterol Levels in Check
Experts believe that limiting the intake of foods with saturated fats and trans fats is crucial. These include meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, deep-fried delicacies, and processed foods. Other factors that contribute to high cholesterol are obesity, uncontrolled weight, and genetic factors.
Here are five foods that can naturally help individuals and heart patients cut down on cholesterol:
1. Try the Wholesome Power of Whole Grains
Whole grains are a rich source of fiber and vital nutrients that help regulate blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart. Increase your consumption of wheat, rice, oats, and quinoa to support your heart health and overall well-being.
2. Low-Fat Protein for a Healthy Heart
Opt for heart-friendly sources of protein. Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that help lower blood fats called triglycerides. Other healthy protein sources to add to your diet are walnuts and soybeans.
3. Give Classic Fruits and Vegetables a Shot
Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and can help lower your cholesterol levels. Fiber blocks cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream from the intestines. Include vegetables such as beans and peas, and heart-healthy fruits like apples and strawberries in your diet. Fresh, seasonal varieties are always a better choice.
4. Go Nuts!
Nuts are a rich source of unsaturated fats and fiber, which can help balance your cholesterol levels. Snack on nuts, which are packed with nutrients like protein, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They not only keep your cholesterol in check but also contribute to overall body health.
5. Healthy Oils are the Way to Go
Choose your oils wisely to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Reduce your intake of coconut and palm oil, as they are high in saturated fat. Instead, opt for healthier options like olive oil and mustard oil, which contain unsaturated fats. These fats help lower cholesterol levels. Include fish and flaxseeds in your diet to get a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
It’s crucial to maintain healthy cholesterol levels by incorporating these heart-healthy foods into your diet. Remember, your heart will thank you for it!
(With inputs from IANS)