The number of hypercholesterolemic people is increasing rapidly in the world. Diet and nutrition are important factors in the promotion and maintenance of health throughout life. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), several dietary patterns, along with lifestyle habits (exercise, smoking, and alcohol consumption), constitute major modifiable risk factors in relation to the development of non communicable diseases: cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and dental diseases.
In this article, cholesterol reducing effects of different categories of food are presented. By adding each of these foods in your diet, you will greatly reduce your cholesterol levels, and give yourself a fighting chance against arteriosclerosis, hypertension, stroke and coronary failure. Here is the list :
- Legumes, Meat Analogues – Legumes, meal analogues and other alternatives to meat, contain no cholesterol or fat that fosters its production in the body. Legumes contain soluble fibre that reduces cholesterol level and prevent arteriosclerosis.
- Virgin Olive Oil or Seed Oils – Both are more healthful than margarine and reduce cholesterol levels when they replace margarine in the diet.
- Soy or Almond Milk – These contain no cholesterol, lactose or casein, all of which are detrimental to cardiovascular health. Soymilk also contains cardioprotective isoflavones.
- Avocado and Tofu – These are an excellent replacement for cheese. They both reduce cholesterol level. Avocado provides antioxidant vitamin E.
- Whole Grain Baked Foods – Preferably made without hydrogenated vegetable oils, thus eliminating trans fatty acids.
- Dried Fruit, Honey – These are the most healthful of sweets.
There are other foods as well which you can include in your diet. However the food groups mentioned in the above list are your first priority. I am suggesting these as it is difficult to make sudden food changes. Some less preferred alternatives are :
- Fish or Skinless Poultry – These contain fats that are less prejudicial than those of red meat, although they cannot be said to reduce cholesterol. They are only beneficial when they replace red meat or shellfish.
- Margarine – When it replaces butter, bacon or animal fat in general, margarine reduces cholesterol. However, it contains trans fatty acids that foster arteriosclerosis.
- Nonfat Milk – This is preferable to whole milk, but it’s casein content still has a negative effect on cholesterol level.
- Low -Fat Cottage Cheese – This is preferable to cured cheese, but not as healthful as tofu or avocado.
High level of cholesterol can lead to several diseases like as coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis and heart attack. There are several foods that have been shown to reduce cholesterol level. Cholesterol lowering foods in combination with a healthy lifestyle are the most effective ways of lowering cholesterol level naturally.