High blood cholesterol levels can lead to serious health issues, so people dealing with cholesterol issues should be mindful of what their diet includes. If you have high cholesterol levels, you must keep a check on everything you consume and understand how foods impact your cholesterol levels. For a better understanding, here are some tips to lower cholesterol with healthy food habits:
- Consume foods rich in soluble fiber: Your small intestine does not digest soluble fiber, which attracts cholesterol and prevents it from being absorption into the bloodstream or the arteries. Regular consumption of foods rich in soluble fiber significantly reduces cholesterol levels, so include apples, whole grains, and beans and legumes in your everyday diet.
- Eat lots of fruits and veggies: This is one of the most effective tips to lower cholesterol with healthy food habits. Fruits and veggies are loaded with several antioxidants that block plaque from accumulating in the arteries. This brings down the risk of heart disease and also promotes overall health.
- Add herbs and spices for flavor: Herbs and spices are packed with necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Along with reducing the plaque formation, regular consumption of herbs and spices like turmeric, clove, and ginger can effectively bring down cholesterol levels.
- Eat more soy: Another effective tip to lower cholesterol with food habits is to up the consumption of soy. Soy contains plant-based protein and isoflavones that can eliminate bad cholesterol and minimize the risk of heart diseases. Studies have also shown that consuming soy regularly for one month can significantly improve overall health. Soybeans and soymilk are less processed forms, making them more effective than soy protein supplements.
- Follow a Mediterranean-style diet: Mediterranean diets include nuts, vegetables, fish, and olive oil, and they include less red meat and dairy. Since this diet has various cholesterol-lowering food items, it is considered highly beneficial for those dealing with cholesterol issues.
- Consume unsaturated fats: Among the various tips to lower cholesterol with food habits, this is a widely recommended one. Unsaturated fats are linked to improved heart health, as they increase good cholesterol levels and reduce bad cholesterol levels. Avocados, fatty fish, nuts, and olives are some of the foods rich in unsaturated fats.
- Drink green tea: This healthy tea is loaded with antioxidants that prevent bad cholesterol from oxidizing or forming plaque in the arteries. Drinking four cups of this tea every day provides effective protection against heart diseases. Even a cup every day can reduce the risk of heart attack by 20 percent.
Several dietary changes like consuming foods rich in soluble fiber and unsaturated fats and including herbs and spices in your diet can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Along with this, you can adopt a few lifestyle changes, like staying active, to get your health back on track.