22 Jul Diet to Lower LDL and Increase HDL Cholesterol: What to Eat Everyday?
Table of Contents
- 1 How Does Diet Affect Cholesterol Levels?
- 2 12 Foods to Lower LDL Cholesterol and Raise HDL Cholesterol
- 3 Drinks to Lower Bad Cholesterol
- 4 A Word from Horizon Clinics
Use your diet to punch down LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
One serious concern we have today is heart disease, mainly due to disturbed cholesterol levels.
Now, maintaining a good cholesterol balance primarily depends on your lifestyle.
What you need is High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol aka the good guy.
And what you must cut down is Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) aka the bad guy.
Now, the biggest myth is that a large amount of good cholesterol can offset high bad cholesterol levels!
Studies prove this is not the case.
While a high HDL is desirable, first focus on lowering LDL to prevent future health complications.
Thus, your main focus should always be lowering LDL levels. This is primarily responsible for the prevention of heart disease.
And the best way for doing the same would be to look for foods to lower LDL and raise HDL cholesterol at the same time.
How Does Diet Affect Cholesterol Levels?
Your cholesterol level has a lot to do with what foods you choose to put on your plate.
In the United States, Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of poor health, sometimes accompanied by death.
This happens to be directly associated with poor eating habits.
For instance, consuming too much fat (saturated and trans fat) can increase LDL cholesterol. Subsequently, elevating the risk of heart disease.
However, choosing a healthy diet reverses this process, giving you a clean bill on health.
And if these are not enough, there are other foods to sink your teeth into in order to balance your cholesterol level.
Here are some foods to increase HDL and decrease LDL levels.
12 Foods to Lower LDL Cholesterol and Raise HDL Cholesterol
Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, as we all know, if exceeded, can block the artery walls.
And conventionally known as the “good cholesterol”, HDL does the job of absorbing cholesterol and sending it back to the liver.
Thereafter, the liver flushes it from the body.
Hence, it has all the means and rights to be called healthy cholesterol that combats bad cholesterol aka LDL effectively.
HDL being less than 40 mg/dl for men and below 50 mg/dl for women is a matter of concern.
People with such dropped levels need an immediate HDL boost in their blood.
On the other hand, a high LDL needs to be lowered down ASAP to prevent cardiac arrest.
So, why not fill your plate with an overall nutritious heart-healthy diet?
Let’s find out how to lower LDL cholesterol and go through the below-listed food sources that can lower LDL cholesterol and up HDL in the long run.
Conventionally known as pulses, legumes are imbued with fibers, minerals, and protein.
The group of plant foods acts as the best alternative for refined meats, eliminating every possible risk of heart issues.
In fact, a recent study showed that eating approx. 100g of pulses lower LDL cholesterol level by about 6.6mg/dl.
#2. Almonds and Walnuts
If you come across the diet chart of a heart patient, try finding the types of dry fruits included in there.
Well, all you’ll be getting is almonds and walnuts. No cashews or peanuts or anything else.
The reason for this is that these 2 are exceptional nutritious food sources for the heart.
Rich in omega 3 acids and monounsaturated fats, these nuts additionally contain L-arginine. It is a type of amino acid aiding nitric oxide production.
So, how is it linked with bringing down LDL level?
A research study associated the benefits of eating almonds and walnuts with reduced LDL cholesterol. It stated the consumption of these nuts reduces LDL levels by about 10.2mg/dl. Hence, treating mild to severe heart disease.
You see how these nuts completely fortify your heart by building an extra layer of nutrition!
#3. Oats and Barley
Whole grains, especially oats and barley, are backed by multiple research on being beneficial to bring down LDL.
These grains are brimming with various nutritive compounds, minerals, vitamins, and fibers, thereby, promoting a healthy heart.
These are soluble-fiber foods that lower cholesterol fast (LDL) by 7% and are additionally rich in beta-glucans.
If you think the purpose of garlic is just adding that extra flavor to your food, then think twice.
Garlic is quintessential, be it in cooking or in the medicinal world.
Studies also indicate cloves of garlic lower blood pressure for those with a complaint of elevated BP levels.
Consumption of garlic per day can significantly lower LDL and triglyceride levels.
#5. Dark Leafy Vegetables
All vegetables, particularly green and leafy ones, are a boon for those with increased LDL cholesterol.
Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, contain carotenoids that are associated with decreased risk of a heart attack.
To simplify, carotenoids are antioxidants that actively aid in sweeping away free radicals. This clearance of radicals treats hardened arteries.
Want to understand how to lower cholesterol naturally? Look no further than a bowl of beans.
The soluble nature of beans as fiber makes you feel full for a long time as they take a longer time to digest. Thus, the fuller feeling suppresses cravings naturally, and this subsequently stops you from binge eating.
Ultimately, the reduced chances of you being overweight decrease the chances of LDL cholesterol build-up; henceforth, reducing the risk of a heart attack.
Moreover, bringing these HDL-rich foods to your plate is equally important for a lower cholesterol diet.
#7. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish, especially salmon and mackerel, are rich sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
These omega-3s keep your heart healthy by increasing the levels of HDL cholesterol.
Moreover, fatty fish also reduces inflammation; hence, making it one of the best foods to lower LDL and raise HDL.
In fact, a study concluded that those who went for non-fried fish were the least likely to develop any metabolic distress (that damages HDL cholesterol).
This again clears the fact why fatty fish is among the first choice of foods that lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol.
Loaded with dense nutrients, avocados come with monounsaturated fats and fiber that cater to low HDL levels and increase it exponentially.
Apart from boosting HDL in your blood, it’s also noted to lower triglycerides levels.
This makes avocado one of the best foods to lower LDL and raise HDL.
#9. Dark Chocolate and Cocoa
Now, this might strike you as a surprise but dark chocolates are actually beneficial in lowering total LDL levels.
This argument is further backed by researchers stating the goodness of dark chocolate in boosting HDL levels.
Additionally, this sweet tooth’s delight also helps lower LDL levels in blood from oxidation, thereby, reducing the chances of cardiac distress.
However, the sugar in dark chocolate can be a bit unhealthy for consumption in the long run.
Therefore, it is advised to go for chocolates with more than 75% of cocoa content.
Keeping in mind this measure, dark chocolates can be one of the tastiest foods to lower LDL and raise HDL.
#10. Fruits Along with Berries
The benefits of fruits for a healthy heart cannot be counted on fingers. Yes, it does a lot more than you would believe it can.
Rich in soluble fibers, fruits curb the urge to eat more.
One such fiber, ‘pectin’ is linked with low LDL cholesterol levels and is profusely found in citrus fruits. For instance, grapes, strawberries, apples, and pears.
Moreover, they’re full of flavonoids, a compound is known to bring down the rate of inflammation.
#11. Soy Foods
Soy foods including soybeans majorly fall under the category of legumes beneficial for heart health.
This food alone has attracted a number of debates and arguments towards its efficacy in improving HDL cholesterol levels. And a recent study came out forward to back its efficacy for the same.
The analysis confirmed soy foods being beneficial in boosting HDL levels, meanwhile, lowering the bad cholesterol.
#12. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A star in the Mediterranean diet, extra virgin olive oil is frequently associated with a healthy heart.
Infused with the sheer goodness of monounsaturated fatty acids, it’s also an abundant source of polyphenols known for decreasing inflammation.
As a result, this brings down the risk of anything unhealthy associated with your heart.
This is perhaps one of the most healthy oils that top the list of foods that increase HDL and decrease LDL.
So, these were some of the LDL cholesterol-lowering foods list that answers ‘how to reduce cholesterol without medication.’
Not to mention, these are some of the easily available foods that lower cholesterol fast.
All these foods combined will definitely make up the best diet to lower LDL and raise HDL.
Apart from the foods, there are some proven drinks, exclusively known for regulating your cholesterol levels. So, what is the best drink to lower cholesterol?
Drinks to Lower Bad Cholesterol
There isn’t just 1 best drink but many that can be of great help when searching ‘how to lower cholesterol naturally?’
Here are a few…
#1. Go for Green Tea
With the powerhouse of antioxidants and catechins compound, green tea gives a significant boost to good cholesterol; meanwhile, reducing LDL.
#2. Sip Some Soy Milk
Soy milk is a good source of protein, which is great for the heart. This is further backed by the FDA suggesting 25g soy protein consumption in the place of harmful fats.
#3. Tangy Tomato Juice
According to a 2015 study, daily intake of 280ml fresh tomato juice results in reduced LDL levels, within 3 months.
Inculcating all these healthy eating and drinking habits can get you closer to a healthy heart and prolonged life.
We don’t suggest abandoning your favorite bites for the rest of your life. We all have our cheat days.
However, the main motive should still be to make junk consumption minimal.
Now, let’s recollect a few important points.
A Word from Horizon Clinics
Increased LDL, if left untreated, can severely damage your heart, leading to an unfortunate incident of a heart attack.
While the ultimate answer to a very high LDL is medication, why not prevent that ultimate situation?
Go for a more natural approach and fill your plate with all the above foods to lower LDL and raise HDL.
Many of you ask how to reduce cholesterol in 30 days?
Well, fog cannot be decimated by a fan. To simply put, the damage done cannot be fixed within some days or weeks.
Nonetheless, 30 days may show some improved results. Now, this also depends on the severity of the damage caused.
If you indeed have a very high LDL in your report or have a cardiac disease history, visit your doctor for medication.
Having said that, diet is an integral part of the bigger picture and is, nonetheless, important to keep bad cholesterol at bay.