It’s hard to pass up the foods that you love. For those struggling with high cholesterol levels, ridding the kitchen of unhealthy junk foods and such may just save your life.
High cholesterol is one of the leading causes of heart diseases, heart attack and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. Your liver produces more cholesterol, a waxy-substance, when you have a highly saturated and trans fat diet.
Here are some simple food tips to keep your cholesterol under control:
1. Eat five to nine servings of fruits and veggies each day.
This helps keep the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol levels, down. Foods made with plant sterol, the steroid found in plants, also helps lower bad cholesterol levels.
2. Fish is a major key.
Low in saturated fat, fish should be included in your meal twice a week. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can help lower fats in the blood and slow the development of plaque in the arteries.
3. Whole grains for breakfast
The fiber and complex carbs found in whole grains like cereal and oatmeal can last all day. You’ll feel fuller longer while also working to lower those bad cholesterol levels, or LDL.
4. Try nuts as a snack.
You only need a handful before you’re on your way to lowering that LDL. Nuts are already high in fat and calories; so don’t cover the few that you’re snacking on in sugar.
5. Swap out beans for potatoes.
Some carbs are better than others. Beans, brown rice, quinoa and whole wheat top the list of good carbs that don’t raise your sugar levels.
Choose anything baked, steamed or broiled. Foods at restaurants tend to be high in sodium, saturated fat and calories. So add some veggies to your plate, too.