8 Super Food to Control Your Good Cholesterol
Cholesterol has become the biggest fear of all of! Talking about cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and stroke appears. First and foremost, cholesterol aren’t the “bad guy” killing us, but it is a factor that leads us to chronic diseases. Understanding types of cholesterol are pretty much important to be aware on the “good cholesterol” and “bad cholesterol”. Basically, there are two types of cholesterol, which is low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is the bad cholesterol and HDL is the good cholesterol. The urge on lowering cholesterol is there when we are opting for the right food.
Here are the 8 Super foods to raise your “good cholesterol”
- Salmon and fatty fish
- Olive oil
- Beans and legumes
- Soy protein
- Health supplement
In case if you’re anticipating or looking forward to lower your cholesterol, the mind itself starts from morning breakfast. According to studies, switching up your breakfast to contain two servings of oats can lower LDL by 5.3% in only 6 weeks. The key is beta-glucan component in oats, which is capable of absorbing LDL and excreting it out of the body. Oatmeal is an excellent source of soluble fiber, as is rice, bran, barley, dried peas and beans, and certain fruits like prunes and apples. A couple servings a day of these heart-healthy foods can have a positive effect on your HDL.
You may toss blueberries, strawberries, slices of banana or even dark chocolates into your oatmeal according to your taste preferences. Slices of cheese would be a good choice too if you’re cheese lover. You can even cook oats as savory dish which would be perfect dine for lunch or dinner. If you find it lazy to cook oats in the morning, you might want to try overnight oats which are easier to prepare and time saving.
- Salmon and Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fats are one of the natural wonders that have shown to ward off heart disease, dementia and many other diseases. Now these fatty acids can yet add another health benefits which is in lowering cholesterol. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fishes help boost your HDL levels and lower bad cholesterol. According to a research study done by Loma Linda University, replacing saturated fats with omega-3s foods can raise good cholesterol as much as 4%. Omega-3s found mostly in salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and tuna.
If you’re searching for that ideal snack food that lowers cholesterol levels, research suggest that you get cracking! In a study (http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/12/2777) published by Diabetes Care, people who consumed about 30 grams of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month lowered their HDL cholesterol to total cholesterol ratios and LDL cholesterol was lowered by 10 percent. Nuts that potentially linked upon increasing HDL are almonds, cashew, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans, and peanuts. You can munch on nuts as a snack or include them in salads and soups. You can even add nuts into your cereals, yogurt, pasta dishes, and rice or can even eat lightly, toasted or baked too.
- Olive Oil
The type of heart-healthy fat found in olives and olive oil too, which can increase your HDL and lower the inflammatory impact of LDL cholesterol in your body. You may swap virgin olive oil with other oils or fats that you are using. Yet, olive oil can be only used for low temperature cooking because it breaks down at high temperature and high temperature might change its properties as well. Thus, olive oil usage is only allowed for low temperature cooking or direct usage, such as salad dressings, sauces, and to flavor foods once cooked. Chopped olives can be used on salads, soups, or and to flavor foods once cooked. Chopped olives can be used on salads, soups, or sandwiches as well. Try replacing saturated fats in your diet such as butter and lard with healthier unsaturated fats.
Avocado is also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). This type of fat boosts HDL, lowers LDL and reduces risk for heart attack, heart disease and stroke. Avocados contain 25 milligrams per ounce of a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol. Regular consumption of beta-sitosterol and other plant sterols has been seen to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
You can add slices of avocado to toast breads, salads, or sandwiches. Spread avocado on toast in the morning instead of butter. Use avocado instead of mayonnaise in chicken or egg salad, or as a spread on a sandwich.
- Beans and Legumes
Beans are a great way to get protein, without the baggage of beef: saturated fat, Trans-fat and dietary cholesterol--all which raise your cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease. All beans and legumes are good sources of soluble fibers such as pectin’s, gums and mucilage’s. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance that delays absorption of glucose (sugar) in the intestines and helps prevent cholesterol absorption. That’s how bean can be a good source in reducing your LDL level.
Beans and legumes are great in side dishes as mashed beans, legumes gravy, baked beans, and more. It can be added in salads and soups as well according to your taste preferences.
- Soy protein
Reducing saturated fat is the most important dietary change you can make to reduce blood cholesterol. An alternative to meat, soy-based products can be a good substitute. When people eat less meat, their LDL levels will most likely to decrease and their HDL levels will most likely to increase. Soy contains higher amounts of Isoflavones than most foods, which directly reduce high cholesterol in the body and improve overall heart health.
Don’t go running if you hate soy – pay attention! We are not focusing on highly processed forms of soy as chalky soy protein powders, we’re talking about cleaner, more whole food forms of soy. Think whole soybeans, tofu and tempeh. Non-GMO soy milk and soy yogurt also make good choices if bought from a high-quality organic brand (just make sure unsweetened as possible).
- Health supplements
Health supplements can also be a part of superfood which helps to control our good cholesterol. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) are one of the powerful oxidation benefits heart health by protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation and by re-energizing the mitochondria in the heart cells, which is where energy metabolism occurs. CoQ10 may also help lower blood pressure.
Apart from CoQ10, fish oil does also contribute in the effect of lowering bad cholesterol. It contains an abundance of essential omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) that have been shown to lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels, minimize inflammation and clotting, and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Research indicates that omega-3s may help reduce the risk and symptoms of a variety of disorders influenced by inflammation, including heart attack and stroke. You can add omega-3s to your diet by eating more cold water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and black cod. If that’s not possible, Dr. Weil recommends taking two grams daily of a fish oil supplement that contains both essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). When choosing a supplement, look for one derived from molecularly distilled fish oils – these are naturally high in both EPA and DHA and low in contaminants. Also choose a supplement brand that has been independently tested and guaranteed to be free of heavy metals such as mercury and lead, and other environmental toxins including polychlorinated biphenyls, also known as PCBs.
As above, there are also plant supplements which said to be effective in lowering low density lipoprotein and lower triglyceride level. For instance, there are 100% bio-organic algae called CryptoPPARs that had proven its effectiveness Crypto PPARs, with his unique nutritional components that includes PPAR α, PPAR β, and PPAR γ certified to lower LDL level and triglycerides level. There are studies proven that the agonist of Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor (PPARs) regulate lipoprotein metabolism, fatty acid oxidation, glucose homeostasis, and inflammation and therefore are used as anti-diabetic drugs for treatment of dyslipidemia and insulin resistance.
Nourishment remain as the main core aspect to boost HDL levels and bringing down LDL. Yet, other imperative components are equally important as well such as exercise, hereditary qualities and existing sick or diseases. A healthy lifestyle accompanied by yearly check-up of your cholesterol levels help us to manage health effectively.