High cholesterol can negatively affect your heart health and lead to heart disease. Here is the best diet for healthy cholesterol.
While the body needs some cholesterol to function properly, too much can damage your body. By sticking to artery walls and blocking them, it increases the risk of coronary artery disease and more.
There are two main types of cholesterol: LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and HDL cholesterol (the good kind). LDL cholesterol can build up in the arteries and lead to blockages, while HDL cholesterol helps remove excess cholesterol.
Most high cholesterol treatments revolve around taking medications and healthy lifestyle practices. These lifestyle changes involve healthy eating, weight management, and regular exercise.
Lowering Cholesterol Through Diet
There are various eating plans that target cholesterol such as the DASH diet or Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet. The following guidelines follow the TLC diet as a way to lower your cholesterol.
Limit the amount of total fat and saturated fat you consume as it increases your LDL levels. They are usually in certain meats, chocolate, dairy products, baked goods, and processed foods.
Instead, opt for healthier fats which are found in lean meat, nuts, and unsaturated oils (olive, canola, and safflower).
Avoid foods that are rich in cholesterol and aim to keep your cholesterol to no more than 200 mg per day. Foods rich in cholesterol include egg yolks, shrimp, whole milk dairy products, liver, and other organ meats.
Eat foods rich in soluble fiber as they help prevent the digestive tract from taking in cholesterol. These foods include whole-grain cereals (oatmeal), fruits (apples, oranges), and legumes (kidney beans, lentils).
Fruits and Vegetables
In addition to containing soluble fiber, fruits and vegetables can increase compounds that help lower cholesterol. Plant stanols and sterols are compounds that work like soluble fiber, making fruits and vegetables highly beneficial.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Certain fish contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help increase your HDL cholesterol levels. Furthermore, they may also decrease the risk of heart attacks and protect your heart from blood clots and inflammation.
Fish that are rich in omega-3s include mackerel, tuna, and salmon.
By limiting salt to no more than 2,300 mg per day, you can lower your blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart disease. Avoid foods high in sodium like processed foods and buy the low-sodium options instead.
Drinking too much alcohol can lead to weight gain, which increases LDL levels and decreases HDL levels. Moreover, too much alcohol increases blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
If you want to improve your cholesterol levels through diet, you can follow the DASH diet or the TLC diet. They both involve limiting certain food items that increase cholesterol and blood pressure while emphasizing certain food groups.
Another tip you can follow is trying heart health supplements that promote healthy cholesterol levels like L-arginine Plus. Try L-arginine Plus alongside your preferred diet plans if you want to promote your cholesterol and overall heart health.