A high cholesterol level in the body can make us catch many different diseases, especially stroke and heart attack. Also, cholesterol increases the risk of diabetes and hypertension.
According to Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, the writer of Tell Me What to Eat If I Have Heart Disease, the first step in reducing the cholesterol level should be limiting saturated fat intake. We have compiled the information about six foods that can reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the body:
1. Soy bean
Soy bean or foods made from soy bean like tofu, tempeh and soy milk can help the body combat the bad cholesterol. The latest study indicates that consuming 25 gram of soy (equal to 10 ounces of tofu or 591 ml of soy milk) can lower the LDL (bad cholesterol) level by 5-6 percent.
A number of studies have shown that consuming legumes like almond, canarium nut, peanut and other legumes is good for the heart. Consuming two ounces of legumes a day can reduce the cholesterol level up to five percent.
Besides its great flavor, chocolate also offers many benefits to our body. The high antioxidant in chocolate can help increase the HDL (good cholesterol) level. In a study published by AJCN in 2007, the HDL level of the participants who consumed chocolate increased by 24 points.
Avocado is high in monounsaturated fat that can increase the good cholesterol level and reduce the bad cholesterol level. Compared to other fruits, avocado is richer in beta-sitosterol, a type of plant fat that can reduce the cholesterol we consume from foods.
5. Fruits high in pectin
Pectin is a type of soluble fiber that can reduce the LDL level. Apple, grape, strawberry and orange are good sources of pectin that you can easily consume every day.
Eating fish twice or three times a week can also reduce our cholesterol level. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acid that can reduce triglyceride in the blood and prevent abnormal heartbeats.
For preventing high cholesterol, we also have to limit our consumption of processed foods and junk foods. So let’s turn to healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables and take the best supplements.