Are you having high cholesterol problem? Take care as your heart is at risk. Presences of too much cholesterol in your blood causes a heart disease called atherosclerosis. The cholesterol builds up on the walls of your arteries which becomes narrow. This leads to slow flow of blood to the heart muscle or blocked. It is very important for you to curb or reduce the cholesterol levels to maintain a healthy heart. Poona Preventive Cardiology Center offers comprehensive heart treatment without angioplasty bypass. The doctors feel that diet can play an important role in lowering your cholesterol. They suggest the following 5 dieting tips which will to reduce your cholesterol and protect your heart.
1. High Fiber Foods
Intake of food which contains soluble fiber is highly beneficial as it helps to reduce LDL or low-density lipoprotein which is referred to as the “bad,” cholesterol. The following food items contain soluble fiber:
- Kidney beans
- Oat Bran
Soluble fiber helps to reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. If you consume about 5 to 10 grams or more of soluble fiber every day it is sure to decreases your total and LDL cholesterol.
2. Omega-3 fatty acids
Doctors are of the opinion that by eating fatty fish you can keep your heart healthy. These fish have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce your blood pressure and also development of blood clots. In those people who have already had heart attacks, fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of sudden death. You can consume at least two servings of fish every week. The following types of fish contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids:
- Lake trout
- Albacore tuna
In order to avoid adding unhealthy fats it is ideal to bake or grill the fish. Those who do not eat fish can get small amounts of omega 3 fatty acids from the following:
- Ground flaxseed
- Canola oil
- Omega 3 supplements
While taking a supplement, ensure that you consume vegetables or lean meat instead of fish.
According to research, almonds, walnuts, almonds and other nuts help to reduce blood cholesterol. Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and help to keep blood vessels healthy. Most of the nuts are high in calories so you can eat a handful of the following nuts to reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Pine nuts
- Pistachio nuts
Do not consume nuts which are coated with sugar or salted. You can also replace foods high in saturated fat like cheese, croutons or meat in your salad you can add a handful of almonds or walnuts.
4. Olive oil
Olive oil keeps you heart healthy and helps to lower cholesterol. It contains a potent mix of antioxidants which helps to lower your bad LDL cholesterol leaving the “good” (HDL) cholesterol untouched. It is suggested to use about 2 tablespoons of olive oil everyday in your diet to enjoy its heart healthy benefits. You can include olive oil to your diet in the following ways:
- To Sauté vegetables
- As a salad dressing by adding it to a marinade or mixing it with vinegar
- As a substitute for butter and can be used as a bread dip
- When basting meat
Olive oil is also high in calories so it is always better to use recommended amount. Extra-virgin olive oil is less processed and contains more heart-healthy antioxidants which will lower cholesterol. Do not use light olive oils as they are more processed and contain more fat and calories.<?p>
5. Plant sterols or stanols
Include foods that have been fortified with sterols or stanols. These are substances found in plants and help to block the absorption of cholesterol. They don’t affect the levels of TGL or triglycerides or HDL-high-density lipoprotein also known as good cholesterol. The following food products with added plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol by more than 10 percent:
- Orange juice
- Yogurt drinks
You should take at least 2gms of daily plant sterols which equals about two 8-ounce or 237-ml servings of plant sterol-fortified orange juice a day.
Besides the above dieting tips doctors also suggest that you need to incorporate the following changes to your diet and lifestyle.
- Cut back on the cholesterol and total fat most importantly saturated and Trans fats.
- Avoid Saturated fats present in full-fat dairy products, meat, and some oils will lead to rise in your total cholesterol.
- Do not consume margarines, crackers, cakes and store-bought cookies as they contain Trans fat and increase your cholesterol levels.
Trans fats have the tendency of increasing LDL or the bad cholesterol and will lower HDL the good cholesterol.
The doctors at PPCC provide the best alternative treatment for heart blockage called EECP feel that by making additional heart-healthy lifestyle changes you can lower your cholesterol. Exercising, quitting smoking and maintaining a balanced and healthy weight will help to keep your heart healthy. Talk to the doctors and seek advice on how to keep your cholesterol level low.