The higher the test score the better, right? Not when it comes to your cholesterol. If yours is climbing over 200, it’s time to take action. But there’s a much more natural solution than popping prescription medicines. Unless you’re in the red zone, a few simple changes in diet can make all the difference. Try these tasty organic treats.
Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber, which cuts down the amount of cholesterol your intestines absorb. Aim for at least 10 grams each day to reduce your low-density lipoprotein levels.
Two servings per week of wild salmon pump your body with enough omega-3 fatty acids to lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol and boost your high-density lipoproteins.
Powerful antioxidants present in olive oil decrease the low-density lipoproteins in your system. Extra-virgin olive oil is most effective.
Almonds are a great source of plant sterols, which impede your body’s absorption of cholesterol. (But, don’t overdo it because they’re also crammed with calories.)
Unsaturated fats in avocados augment your body’s level of high-density proteins and lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Blueberries contain copious amounts of pterostilbene, a compound that is known to effectively cut cholesterol. Eat all you like!
Pistachios are loaded with selenium, an antioxidant that prevents coronary artery disease.
Walnuts contain a plentiful supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol and maintain the healthy, elastic texture of blood vessels.
Like salmon, tuna is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce levels of low-density lipoproteins and triglycerides. (Be sure to buy from sustainable sources.)
An abundant source of both soluble and insoluble fibers, an apple a day really can keep the doctor away by lowering cholesterol, preventing arteries from hardening and protecting your body against heart attacks and strokes.
Whole brown rice contains oils that reduce your body’s cholesterol level, not to mention its profusion of fiber and magnesium.
Treat yourself to a teaspoon of cinnamon each day to decrease the amount of low-density lipoproteins and triglycerides in your system.
To resist mold, grapes naturally produce flavonoids. This multi-purpose compound also prevents platelet clumping and free radical damage in LDL cholesterol.
Antioxidants present in strawberries cut low-density lipoproteins and keep them from oxidizing, a process that makes this type of cholesterol even more damaging.
Like oatmeal, beans and apples, broccoli is plentiful in soluble fiber, which does wonders for high cholesterol.
The monosaturated fats found in hazelnuts reduce LDL cholesterol and protect against coronary artery disease.
Like almonds, sunflower seeds are a rich source of plant sterols, which block cholesterol.
Take your pick: whole grain bagels, waffles, bread, muffins, crackers, pancakes, seasoned popcorn (no butter), or cooked whole grains like amaranth and quinoa and more decrease the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Ingesting 5 grams or more on a daily basis should do the trick.
Packed with vegetable protein and soluble fiber, dishes like hummus and bean soup, dip or salad keep high cholesterol at bay.
Garlic (shown at top)
In addition to preventing blood clots and killing fungi and bacteria, the chemical allicin found in garlic can help lower your cholesterol. But, you might want to keep some breath mints on hand.
The bottom line? More plants! Eating lower on the food chain is just as good for you as it is for the planet.
P.S. Don’t forget to make organic, local, seasonal choices when possible.
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