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If your cholesterol levels have been high for several years, You may wonder if changing your diet will help. Ideally, your total cholesterol should be 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or less. But what experts are most concerned about is the dangerous LDL cholesterol value. Excess LDL deposits on artery walls and releases inflammatory substances that increase the risk of heart attack.
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“To prevent heart disease, your LDL should be 100 mg/dL or lower,” says Dr. Jorge Plutzky, director of preventive cardiology at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. But most Americans have ideal LDL values (100 to 129 mg/dL) or above the cutoff (130 to 159 mg/dL).
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If you fall into one of these categories; You can lower your LDL levels by changing what you eat, especially if you can improve your current diet slightly. But most people with high LDL need to take cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins, Dr. Plutsky says.
Avoiding foods high in cholesterol is not the best way to lower LDL. The types of fats and carbohydrates you eat, in particular, have the biggest impact on your blood cholesterol levels. As the American Heart Association points out; “Cutting out saturated fats and replacing them with unsaturated fats will be the most effective for you,” says Kathy McManus, a registered dietitian at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
That means meat, Cheese and other high-fat dairy products such as butter; That means avoiding half and half and ice cream. Those calories are y, It is important to replace unsaturated fats (such as vegetable oils, avocados and fatty fish) with white bread, Instead of refined carbohydrates like pasta and white rice, try the same. Unlike fats, These starchy foods are low in nutrients and can lead to overeating and weight gain.
Another big problem with refined carbohydrates? They are very low in fiber, which helps the body remove cholesterol (see “The Fiber Factor”).
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Your body can’t break down fiber, so it passes through your body undigested. There are two types, insoluble and soluble. Foods rich in fiber are usually a mix of both.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. Although it does not directly lower LDL, it does. This form of fiber fills you up; Eliminate other cholesterol-raising foods from your diet and help you lose weight.
Soluble fibers dissolve in water and form gels. This gel absorbs some of the cholesterol in your body so it doesn’t enter the arteries and is flushed out as waste.
Soluble fiber also combines with bile acids to move fat from the small intestine to the large intestine. This triggers your liver to make bile acids—a process that requires cholesterol. If the liver doesn’t have enough cholesterol, it can pull more from the bloodstream, reducing circulating LDL.
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Finally, Some soluble fibers (called oligosaccharides) are digested into short-chain fatty acids in the stomach. These fatty acids can inhibit the production of cholesterol.
The following 11 foods are good sources of fiber or unsaturated fat (or both). However, they are not part of any special program and are just suggestions. Fruits and vegetables Many vegetables and fruits are good sources of fiber. Most nuts and seeds (and the oils made from them) are monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats.
1. Oatmeal. with whole wheat and barley; It’s an excellent source of soluble fiber (see Crops of the Month at right). Start your day with a bowl of steel-cut or old-fashioned rolled oats topped with fresh or dried fruit.
2. White beans Also known as black beans, this variety contains the most fiber. salads, black beans that can be added to soups or chilis; Try different beans like garbanzo or kidney beans. But avoid canned baked beans in sugary sauces.
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3. Avocado. the creamy green of the avocado; Green meat is not only rich in monounsaturated fat, but also soluble and insoluble fiber. Chop these fruits and puree them in salads or stir-fry whole grains with mashed potatoes.
4. Eggplant. Although not everyone’s favorite, this purple vegetable is one of the richest sources of soluble fiber. One idea – grill or grill the meat from the Middle East, called Baba Ghanush, until it’s tender.
5. Carrots. Raw baby carrots are a tasty and convenient snack that also provide a decent amount of insoluble fiber.
6. Almonds. Among nuts, almonds have the most fiber, but other popular varieties like pistachios and pecans lag behind. Walnuts are polyunsaturated; It has the added benefit of being a good source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.
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7. Kiwi fruit. Contrary to popular belief, brown fruits do not need to be peeled. But to avoid the skin, cut them in half and scoop out the insides for an easy, high-fiber, sweet snack.
8. Fruits. Because these fruits are full of tiny seeds, their fiber content is higher than other fruits. Raspberries and blackberries provide the most, but strawberries and blueberries are good sources.
9. Cauliflower. This cruciferous vegetable not only provides fiber but can also be used as a substitute for white rice. Grind it in a grinder until it looks like rice and fry it in olive oil until it softens a little.
10. Shadow. Soy and its products such as soy milk; tofu And eating canned rice was once recognized as a powerful way to lower cholesterol. Recent analyzes have shown that the effect is modest at best. However, protein-rich soy-based foods are a much better choice than hamburgers or other red meats.
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11. Salmon. Similarly, Eating cold-water fish such as salmon twice a week can lower LDL by replacing meat and providing omega-3 fats. Other fish options include lightly canned tuna and canned sardines.
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Many people can lower their cholesterol by changing what they eat. for example, If you’re a cheeseburger lover; Eating less meat (muscle reduction) and vegetables; Eating more fruits and whole grains can lower your total cholesterol by 25% or more. can reduce proq. Cholesterol can be lowered by reducing saturated fat (found in meat and dairy products) and trans fat (partially hydrogenated fat).
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