10 foods to satisfy cravings without worrying about cholesterol

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Sometimes, due to our busy days, we rely on fast foods and processed meats. However, this can cause an increase in our LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, that can cause fatty deposits to build up in the blood vessels.
Fast foods and processed meals are usually fat, salt, sugary, and low in nutrients that are good for you, such as calcium, Omega 3 fatty acids, and fiber, according to WebMD.
Here are the benefits of monitoring your food intake and consuming foods that are high in HDL also known as good cholesterol:
  • It lowers your blood pressure.
  • It boosts your immune system
  • It protects you against heart attack, stroke, and some cancers
Meanwhile, to maintain a balanced diet and a good number of HDL in your body, you must consume the following foods, according to Healthline and Medical News Today:
1. Avocados
Avocados are a big source of monounsaturated fats and fiber, which can help lower your LDL and increase "good" HDL cholesterol.
2. Nuts
Consuming nuts, a good source of unsaturated fats, can help you lower your LDL cholesterol levels. It is also rich in fiber, which can help the body from absorbing cholesterol.
These are the kinds of nuts that are heart-healthy and can lower bad cholesterol:
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
3. Dark chocolate
In a study posted in NCBI, participants who finished the trial of drinking cocoa flavanol two times a day decreased their LDL cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
However, you must consume chocolate in moderation because some chocolates contain high sugar, which has negative health effects. Instead, look for cocoa or chocolate with a cocoa content of 75 – 85 percent or higher.
4. Oats
Research shows that whole grains such as oats can help lower the risk of developing heart disease.
Also, a study posted in BMC, shows that "daily consumption of 3 g of soluble fiber from 70 g of oats leads to beneficial effects on the lipid parameters, specifically total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic Asian Indians. "
5. Okra
Okra, also known as lady's fingers, is rich in fiber and antioxidants that can help maintain a healthy weight because it can lower cholesterol by binding to it during digestion.
6. Fish
Fish contains Omega-3 fats, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines.
The EPA protects you from heart diseases by decreasing the levels of triglycerides.
7. Tea
Consuming teas such as green tea, black tea, and white tea can improve your heart health.
Tea contains two primary beneficial compounds such as catechins, which help activate nitric oxide to maintain blood pressure, as well as quercetin to improve blood vessel function and lower inflammation.
8. Fruits and Berries
Fruits such as apples, grapes, citrus fruits, and strawberries contain a soluble fiber called pectin that lowers cholesterol by up to 10%.
Also, fruits contain bioactive compounds beneficial in preventing heart disease and other chronic diseases.
9. Soy Foods
According to a study posted in NCBI, "soy protein significantly reduced LDL cholesterol by approximately 3 – 4% in adults. Our data support the advice given to the general public internationally to increase plant protein intake."
Soy products, such as tofu, soy milk, and soy yogurt, are good for a cholesterol-lowering diet.
10. Legumes
Legumes, known as pulses, belong to a group of plant foods such as beans, peas, and lentils. High in fiber, minerals, and protein, they can lower your risk of heart disease.
Meanwhile, if you are trying to decrease the levels of your LDL cholesterol, you must avoid or limit your intake of the following foods that are high in saturated and trans fats:
  • Fatty meat, such as lamb and pork
  • Lard and shortening
  • Butter and cream
  • Palm oil
  • Cakes and donuts
  • Pastries
  • Potato chips
  • Fried foods
Always try to maintain low LDL cholesterol levels to lessen the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
Try to be mindful of what you eat and make sure you enjoy your meal.

Last Modified: 2023-Dec-07 19.30.06 UTC+0800