What you eat affects more than just your weight, and the right foods can dramatically improve your overall health. One of the most common concerns adults face deals with cholesterol numbers, and when your levels are too high you run the risk of developing a number of health problems. While medications carry the risk of potentially dangerous side effects, you can lower high cholesterol levels naturally simply by changing your diet. Adding a few nutritious food items to your diet will not only lower dangerously high cholesterol numbers, it can also improve your overall health.
5 Healthy Foods That Decrease Cholesterol
A bowl of hot or cold oatmeal or oat bran in the morning is full of soluble fiber that has proven to be effective in lowering high cholesterol levels. Just 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal a day will provide your body with 6 grams of soluble fiber, and improve cholesterol numbers. Other foods that are high in fiber can also include beans, barley, and some fruits. Apples, pears, and prunes are some of the fruits commonly used to increase daily fiber intake.
Health care professionals and nutritionists recommended a diet that includes fish, and the American Heart Association suggests eating at least two servings a week. Fish are high in Omega 3 fatty acids that have proven beneficial to your heart health. The omega 3 acids can also lower high blood pressure, along with reducing your risk of developing dangerous blood clots. The high levels of the fatty acids found in some fish can also help reduce some of the common signs of aging and skin hyperpigmentation. Some of the fish that contain the highest levels of omega 3 acids include,
It is also healthier to eat the fish baked, broiled, or grilled, and avoid deep frying or breading to keep your calorie count low.
Not only do unsalted and uncoated nuts make great a great snack, these naturally delicious treats can also help lower high cholesterol levels. With just 1.5 ounces of nuts a day you can improve your cholesterol numbers, and improve your overall health. The polyunsaturated fatty acids will help strengthen your blood vessels, and increase circulation to your heart and rest of your body. It should be noted that nuts are also high in calories, so you don’t want to snack on too many at a time. Some of the most popular nuts include walnuts, peanuts, almonds, and pistachios.
4. Olive oil
This natural oil has been used in cooking for thousands of years, and it also contains powerful antioxidants that are essential for your overall good health. Not only will the oil make all of your dishes taste better, the antioxidants can lower the amount of “bad” cholesterol in your body, and improve your heart health. Olive oil can be used in place of butter and as a fresh ingredient in salad dressing. It should be noted that while the natural oil does contain properties that are good for your heart, it is also high in calories.
5. Dark Chocolate
Dark or bitter sweet chocolate is not only delicious; it also contains antioxidants that are essential to heart health. It can help lower the high numbers associated with bad cholesterol, and prevent blood clots from forming. Dark chocolate can also increase circulation, and the endorphins that it causes the brain to release can help reduce stress and improve your general mood. While the bitter sweet dark candy does contain the highest concentration of antioxidants, you can also get some of the same health benefits with milk chocolate.
There are several factors that can cause high cholesterol, but it is also something that you can treat easily and naturally. High cholesterol numbers can cause problems with poor circulation and the health of your heart, and it is becoming more common in adults as they age. There are medications that can relieve this health condition, but the risk of developing dangerous side effects often make patients reconsider this form of treatment. Simply adding high fiber diets, antioxidants, and omega 3 fatty acids can safely lower your bad cholesterol numbers and improves your overall health. Before starting any new diet or treatment, it is also best to speak with your health care provider to prevent any complications.