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Finding the right diet to follow to control your cholesterol may seem like an easy task – until you do a quick Google and find pages and pages of recommendations. While there is no shortage of cholesterol-lowering foods of choice, there is a dearth of foods with evidence showing that they work.
What Is A Low Cholesterol Diet Consist Of
If you’re trying to lower your cholesterol naturally, you may have missed the latest fad diet bandwagon that may or may not do anything for you in the long run, or you may be sticking to the Mediterranean diet.
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Close your eyes and imagine you’re dining al fresco in a Mediterranean villa or on a beach on a Greek island. what do you eat Do you quickly make a fast food cheeseburger and extra soda? Or do you eat it on a plate with olive oil, vegetables, grains and seeds? Do you eat alone, or do you enjoy the process of eating with others? (Say: What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Olive Oil.)
The Mediterranean diet is modeled after what most people eat when they live in the Mediterranean. Although it is called the Mediterranean diet, it is actually much more
Many people living in this part of the world accept it. They eat dinner with family and friends, keep calm, and rarely face the car at a red light when they have free time. The TV is off and they are concentrating on eating.
People following a healthy Mediterranean diet avoid added sugars, processed and processed foods, and heavily processed meats. Instead, they focus on whole foods that are nutrient-rich and high in antioxidants.
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Overall, it’s a diet rich in whole foods and plant-based foods. Oh, and you can have some wine with your meal.
In the United States, 12% of adults had elevated cholesterol levels in 2015-2016. High cholesterol levels are a risk factor for developing heart disease, unfortunately, the #1 killer of men and women in this country.
Naturally, many people look for ways to lower their cholesterol levels to help prevent their ticker from causing problems later in life. Adopting a Mediterranean diet can do just that.
The Mediterranean diet has been associated with health benefits since the 1960s. Half a century ago, researchers found that people living in the Mediterranean region had lower rates of heart disease than people in other regions of the world. Since then, a growing body of research has shown that following a Mediterranean diet improves total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol.
Tips & Tricks For A Low Cholesterol Diet
The study suggests that following a Mediterranean diet is more effective than a low-fat diet in reducing heart disease, including cholesterol levels.
This diet is still popular in the medical community because of the real benefits it offers. (For more: Top 5 Researched Health Benefits of Following the Mediterranean Diet.)
Overall, the Mediterranean diet helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels; However, there are certain foods that can be beneficial while protecting your heart and following these dietary guidelines.
One of these foods is extra virgin olive oil. The Mediterranean diet is rich in “healthy” fats, mostly from olive oil and low in saturated and trans-fats. Olive oil is the main oil in this food. Along with the healthy fats it provides, it also contains antioxidants and is salt-free. A combination of these unique factors can play a major role in the heart-healthy benefits.
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Another Mediterranean diet group associated with lowering cholesterol is whole grains. In a study published in
, eating whole grains lowers LDL cholesterol more than refined grains—people see the best results when they eat whole-grain oats.
Finally, a healthy diet of nuts is an important way to help lower cholesterol. The Mediterranean diet promotes the consumption of nuts, especially walnuts, which may provide some benefits when it comes to cholesterol levels. Walnuts are a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition, thanks to their healthy fats, fiber, plant-based proteins, and antioxidants. In a meta-analysis and meta-analysis of 26 clinical trials published in
Researchers found that total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels decreased when eating a diet rich in nuts and healthy foods.
Healthy Recipes For A Low Cholesterol Diet
As long as you get the green light from your personal doctor, starting to follow the Mediterranean diet is easy to do in a few small steps. Because small changes can lead to big results, it’s best to choose a few principles to adopt at a time and then build your new habits.
Eating a Mediterranean diet may be the link you need to help keep your heart healthy. Since eating your favorite foods isn’t a sacrifice if you’re vacationing on the shores of the blue sea, there’s very little harm in eating this way in the long run. Bon appetit! For more ways to protect your heart and control cholesterol levels, be sure to read about these diets to avoid if you don’t want high cholesterol, dietitians say.
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning nutritionist, author and recipe designer with nearly 20 years of experience. Read more about Laurence’s advice for children on childhood and adolescent obesity Screening saves lives – so when does it stop? Natural Disasters Are Everywhere: Ways to Protect Your Portfolio Against Bad Placebos Will We Get Sick at Night? If you use cannabis, be safe How can cancer after surgery time to treat diabetes? Who needs treatment for ocular hypertension? Winter Hiking: Magic or Misery?
Changing the foods you eat can lower your cholesterol and improve the armada of fats floating in your bloodstream. Adding foods that lower LDL, the harmful cholesterol that causes blockages in the arteries, is the best way to get foods high in cholesterol.
High Protein Foods Low In Cholesterol
Different foods lower cholesterol in different ways. Some provide soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and removes them from the body before they enter the system. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. Some contain plant sterols and stanols, which prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol.
1. Oats An easy first step to lowering your cholesterol is to eat a bowl of oatmeal or cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It provides 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half gram. Current dietary guidelines recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day, with at least 5 to 10 grams coming from soluble fiber. (The average American earns half that amount.)
2. Barley and other grains Barley and other grains, such as oats and oat bran, can help reduce the risk of heart disease, mainly because of the fiber they supply.
3. Beans Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They take some time for the body to digest, which means you feel full for a long time after eating. Beans are a good food for those trying to lose weight. Beans are a versatile food – and with so many ways to prepare them – from navy and kidney beans to peas, garbanzos, black-eyed peas and more.
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5. A bush research shows that eating nuts, almonds, walnuts, peanuts and other tree nuts is good for the heart. Eating 2 ounces of nuts daily can lower LDL slightly, on the order of 5%. Nuts contain additional nutrients that protect the heart in other ways.
6. Vegetable Oils Vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, safflower, butter, lard, or used in cooking, at the table, or as shortening can lower LDL.
7. Apples, fruits, strawberries, citrus fruits. These fruits are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that lowers LDL.
8. Foods with powerful sterols and stanols. The sterols and stanols extracted from jackfruit enable the body to absorb cholesterol from food. Companies add them to foods like margarine, granola bars, orange juice, and chocolate. They are available as supplements. A daily intake of 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols can lower LDL cholesterol by 10%.
Low Cholesterol Diet Plan For Beginners
9. Fruit juices and foods made from them like tofu and milk were once said to be a good way to lower cholesterol. Studies show that the effect is small – eat 25 grams of liquid protein per day (10 ounces of tofu or 2 1/2 cups of soy)
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