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To avoid a heart attack, research has found that a key strategy is getting LDL (bad) cholesterol way down. Striving for LDL levels of 100 and below is good, but dropping to 80 and lower may be even better. Lets look into Lowering Cholesterol Naturally.

1. Limit your intake of foods full of saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol.

Foods with a lot of saturated fat include butter, fatty flesh like red meat, full-fat and low-fat dairy products, palm oil, and coconut oil. If you see partially hydrogenated fat in the Ingredient List of a food label, that food has trans fats. Top sources of dietary cholesterol include egg yolks, organ meats, and shellfish.
One type of fat – omega-3 fatty acids – has been shown to protect against heart disease. Good sources are cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel, halibut, trout, herring, and sardines.

2. Eat a lot more fiber-rich foods (especially soluble fiber from foods like beans, oats, barley, fruits, and vegetables).

Foods naturally rich in soluble fiber have proven particularly good at lowering cholesterol. Excellent sources include oats, oat bran, barley, peas, yams, sweet potatoes and other potatoes, as well as legumes or beans, such as pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, and peas. Vegetables rich in soluble fiber include carrots, Brussels sprouts, beets, okra, and eggplant. Good fruit sources are berries, passion fruit, oranges, pears, apricots, nectarines, and apples.

3. Choose protein-rich plant foods (such as legumes or beans, nuts, and seeds) over meat.

Common legumes include lentils, peas, and beans, such as pinto beans, red beans, white beans, and soybeans. They’re full of nutritional riches and are a very healthy, protein-packed alternative to meat. Legumes help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood sugar, and insulin levels, and may even lower cancer risk.
Nuts and seeds have been proven to modestly lower LDL cholesterol levels. To avoid blood-pressure-raising salt, choose raw or dry-roasted, unsalted varieties. To avoid gaining weight, don’t eat more than 1 ounce daily since nuts and seeds are dense with calories (averaging about 175 calories per ounce).

4. Lose as much excess weight as possible.

Losing excess weight is beneficial for all sorts of reasons, from improving your cholesterol profile to preventing diseases epidemic in industrialized societies, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, gout, and many types of cancer.
Do keep in mind that it’s important to limit fat intake, even so-called “good” fats like olive oil, because any fat is dense with calories, which means heavy consumption can easily lead to a heavy body.

Tea

While tea has become well known for its cancer-fighting antioxidants, it is also a great defense against high LDL cholesterol levels. According to research conducted with the USDA, black tea has been shown to reduce blood lipids by up to 10% in only 3 weeks. These findings were concluded in a larger study of how tea may also help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease

Chocolate

Yes! This powerful antioxidant helps build HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. In a 2007 study published in AJCN, participants who were given cocoa powder had a 24% increase in HDL levels over 12 weeks, compared with a 5% increase in the control group. Remember to choose the dark or bittersweet kind. Compared to milk chocolate, it has more than 3 times as many antioxidants, which prevent blood platelets from sticking together and may even keep arteries unclogged.

Garlic

Aside from adding zing to almost any dish, garlic makes the list of foods that lower cholesterol; it’s also been found to prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure, and protect against infections. Now research finds that it helps stop artery-clogging plaque at its earliest stage by keeping cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls. Try for 2 to 4 fresh cloves a day.

Avocado

Avocados are a great source of heart-healthy MUFAs, which may actually help raise HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL. And, more than any other fruit, this delectable food packs cholesterol-smashing beta-sitosterol, a beneficial plant-based fat that reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food. Since avocados are a bit high in calories and fat (300 calories and 30 g of fat per avocado), use them in moderation. (We suggest these 8 unique and insanely tasty avocado recipes.)

Spinach

This popular green food contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in dark green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Lutein already has a reputation for guarding against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. Now research suggests that just ½ cup of a lutein-rich food daily also guards against heart attacks by helping artery walls “shrug off” cholesterol invaders that cause clogging. Look for bags of baby spinach leaves that you can use for salads or pop in the microwave for a quick side dish.

Weight and exercise

Being overweight and not exercising affect fats circulating in the bloodstream. Excess weight boosts harmful LDL, while inactivity depresses protective HDL. Losing weight if needed and exercising more reverse these trends.

Brown rice

Being unpolished, retains most of its fibre and nutrient content that are otherwise removed from refined, white or polished rice. These nutrients include B vitamins, selenium, magnesium and phytonutrients. A cup of brown rice supplies about 14% of the daily recommended value for fibre. This high fibre content helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol. Use it as a substitute for white rice, dosa, pulao or biryani

Beans and legumes

Bengal Gram (Chana), Kidney beans (Rajma) and Chick peas(kabuli chana), are rich in dietary fibre which help lower cholesterol levels and prevent blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal. Studies suggest that consuming as little as 3/4 cup beans daily can help lower LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. They are low in fat (most of this is polyunsaturated) and are a healthy source of carbohydrates for people with insulin resistance or diabetes. They can be eaten as sprouts, salad, hummus and baked falafel.

Cinnamon

Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day has shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Add it to your green tea or use it in food to add flavour.

Coriander seeds

Coriander seeds , has useful cholesterol lowering properties. Boil two tablespoon of coriander seeds in a glass of water. Strain the decoction after cooling and drink this twice a day for good results.

Fenugreek seeds (methi)

When consumed on a regular basis have shown to lower total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels in blood. Regular consumption of fenugreek seeds have also found to be effective in controlling blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Garlic

Contains allicin which has shown to lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Several studies have shown that less than half a clove (900mg) of raw garlic a day can lower cholesterol by 9-12%. It can also be taken in the form of raw cloves one or two a day.

Ginger

Ginger has shown to improve heart health. A study testing the properties of ginger found that ginger reduced cholesterol, triglyceride and blood sugar levels. It also raises HDL (good) cholesterol and helps improve blood circulation by reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. You can enjoy your morning cup of ginger tea or add it to your food and lower your risk of heart disease.

Green tea

Green tea contains catechin polyphenols which are known to provide protective effects on the heart. Studies have shown that drinking green tea lowers total and LDL (bad) cholesterol but has no effect on HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Since it has zero calories (when taken without sugar), it is great for people watching their weight.

Lemon

Lemons provide enormous health benefits as they are fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free, high in vitamin C and low in calories. Lemons contain limonoids, which has shown to reduce the production of apo B, a substance associated with higher cholesterol levels. Flavonoids, also found in lemons, have potential antioxidant properties which reduce the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Use lemon in salad dressings, make lemon juice or add to foods to enhance flavour.

Rice bran oil

Rice bran oil, extracted from the bran layer contains healthy fat, mono unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) shown to lower LDL levels in people with high cholesterol. Keep a watch on the amount of oil used even if it is healthy. One litre of oil is sufficient for 2 adults on a monthly basis.

Multigrain atta

A perfect blend of whole wheat flour, soya, oats, husk powder, barley, maize flour, Bengal gram flour. It is a rich source of B vitamins and fibre which helps to lower LDL Cholesterol (bad cholesterol), thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
You can checkout our cholesterol lowering foods here

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