Statistics collected by the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) reveal 33.5% of American citizens have elevated cholesterol levels. The figures also show that, of those people, only one in three of them have the situation under control. That’s not good and the most popular prescription medication, statins, can cause side effects that are so unpleasant it can feel like a case of “out of the frying pan, into the fire”.
Fortunately there are other ways of lowering cholesterol. One of those ways is to avoid unhealthy food choices. Another is to make healthy food choices by adding some cholesterol lowering foods to your diet and it is not hard to do. In fact just a bowl of oats each morning could be all that it takes.
Top 5 Cholesterol Lowering Foods
Love them or hate them, oats are good for you. They provide energy-giving carbohydrates and are high in natural fiber. One fiber (β-glucan) is particularly interesting because it lowers bad cholesterol levels. In fact, some experts believe that just 3g of β-glucan may be sufficient to lower bad cholesterol levels by 5-10%.
2. Grape Seed Extract
Grapes are high in antioxidants that can boost the overall health and help protect against the effects of dangerous the “free radicals” provided by certain food. Their potential for doing good does not end there, however, because the nutrients provided by grapes are believed to strengthen the cardiovascular system and a number of studies show grapes are also a valuable cholesterol lowering food that may reduce bad cholesterol levels my around 20%.
Nuts are naturally high in polyunsaturated fatty acids that can reduce bad cholesterol. So if you are seeking a cholesterol lowering food that can be eaten on the go you have permission to jump up and down and go nuts. Eating as little as 40g of nuts per day can also considerably reduce the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes, and walnuts are known to be particularly beneficial for the blood vessels.
Avocados are also a cholesterol lowering food and their prowess in this regard has been scientifically proven by researchers at the Pennsylvania State University (USA).
The volunteers were split into three groups. One group was fed a low-fat diet and another was given a moderate fat diet. The third group also received a moderate-fat diet, with the only difference being they were given avocado as well. At the end of the study the data showed the group that was given avocado had a significantly lower cholesterol level than eight of the other two groups.
5. Olive Oil
Olive oil provides a combination of antioxidants that can lower bad cholesterol levels without interfering with good cholesterol levels. So a little olive oil used as a salad dressing can be very beneficial for the health and is a healthy option for anyone who is planning to prepare a stir fry or other fried dish.
A great way to keep cholesterol in control is to eat food that is low in fat. Still, if you have fallen pray to cholesterol, the best solution for you might just be prescription drugs. However, many people prefer taking natural supplements or herbs rather than taking drugs. This is because herbs hardly have any side effects. You can read more about cholesterol lowering herbs in this article. You will find here information about:
Herbs you should use in order to lower your cholesterol level
What are the benefits and the side effects of cholesterol lowering herbs
What herbs are best to lower your cholesterol
High cholesterol can be found in any person. Still, at more risk are people who lead stressful lives but also maintain unhealthy diets. In order to lower your cholesterol level, the best thing to do is eat foods that are low in fat content (especially one kind of fat – saturated fat) but also to increase the amount of physical activity. Cholesterol lowering herbs are generally available for people who do not start taking prescription drugs to lower cholesterol immediately. This article will also give you some examples of herbs that lower cholesterol.
Herbs used to lower cholesterol
Most of the herbs help lower the cholesterol level through the same process. Cholesterol lowering herbs create more bile and a more steady bile flow in the body. There are also some cholesterol lowering herbs (but also certain vegetables) that contain a certain compound that help the digestion and increase bile flow. This kind of compound is contained in artichoke for example. Soon after cholesterol enters the system, the increased bile flow will force fats and cholesterol to leave the body. Remember that it is very important that bile circulates through the body since if it remains in one place (especially the liver) it can have damaging effects on the body.
Benefits and side effects of cholesterol lowering herbs
The most noted side effect of certain herbs that help lower high cholesterol levels is that they may sometimes work as mild laxatives. Besides this, herbs to lower cholesterol have hardly any side effects. Other side effects of herbal remedies for cholesterol can be their taste – for example, for people who do not like spicy food, cayenne herb can be unpleasant. And sometimes, unpleasant breath can be another side effect, especially when using garlic as a remedy.
The above are just five cholesterol lowering foods, but there are many more and just a few small changes in diet could make a big difference to the health. So what are you waiting for? Make a change for the better. Do it today.