In today’s post, we’ll talk about what cholesterol is and the best foods & essential oils that may help you lower it.
Cholesterol is basically a fatty substance, a lipid, found in certain foods.
This lipid is produced in the liver. Therefore, it becomes vital for the body because it’s a substance we need to produce:
Among other vital components transferred by blood proteins.
Which are the two types of cholesterol?
First, low-density lipoprotein (LDL, associated with saturated fat) is “bad” because it’s deposited on the walls of our arteries.
Causing the creation of hard plates, generating blockages and potential risks of:
- Heart attacks
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is “good” because it brings LDL cholesterol to your liver, where it’s then eliminated.
So, which is best for your body? A good cholesterol ratio between good and bad. That would be ideal for your health.
What causes high cholesterol?
When cholesterol excess occurs, you’ll encounter numerous problems in your body, which may eventually lead to a heart attack and stroke.
Therefore, we can say that high cholesterol can be very harmful to your heart.
Remember that “we are what we eat” since our diet determines its cause. In addition to knowing which foods avoid high cholesterol, other causes may increase our cholesterol levels:
- Sedentary life: The lack of physical activity leads to a decrease of particles that make up LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), which makes it more harmful to your body
- Overweight: Obesity can also be responsible for LDL cholesterol. It’s important to maintain proper body weight if possible. Read more about weight loss
- Smoking: We all know that smoking damages blood vessels and accumulates fat deposits. It also lowers your HDL levels or good cholesterol
- Growing older: As we get older, our body changes. Because we’re no longer as active, we begin to have health problems from wear and tear, which may increase the risk of high cholesterol levels. This is because the liver cannot eliminate bad cholesterol like before
Below, we’ll list the best foods for lowering cholesterol effectively. Pay attention to the diet attached here because there are vital substances to help you reduce and/or prevent cholesterol effectively.
These foods avoid high cholesterol, as well.
Best foods & essential oils to lower cholesterol: The Guide
You can reduce your cholesterol levels by following a diet low in fat and high in fiber. Besides, the chemical composition of these foods will help you fight cholesterol effectively.
Oatmeal is one of the most important cholesterol-lowering foods. This is because it possesses a set of substances that have been shown to reduce plasma cholesterol rates in its composition.
Likewise, oatmeal contains beta-glucans, which absorb “bad cholesterol,” making it even healthier than other whole grains.
Therefore, consuming oatmeal to reduce cholesterol is important for your health.
Other Whole Grains Cereals include:
They contain soluble fiber, which reduces the absorption of LDL or bad cholesterol and prevents it from reaching the blood.
Our recommendation about whole grains as food to lower cholesterol is to eat between 20 and 35 grams of fiber a day, of which approximately 10 should be soluble fiber.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables have very low levels of saturated fat.
They are rich in soluble fiber, so they facilitate the elimination of “bad cholesterol.”
On the other hand, vegetables such as:
These vegetables capable of lowering cholesterol have similar effects to those of the mentioned fruits.
They are characterized by having few calories and being useful for lowering cholesterol.
Like oats, Barley is rich in a particular type of soluble fiber called beta-glucans, which have proven effective in reducing LDL-cholesterol.
New research focuses on tocotrienol, a form of vitamin E with a powerful antioxidant effect. Located in the husks of barley, oats, and rice grains, the latter is yet more abundant.
Tea is healthy for its antioxidants and reduces levels of fat and LDL cholesterol in the blood. Read more about tea benefits here.
Avocado contains a high-fat content (approximately 6.5 percent). But its fat is monounsaturated, which is commonly known as omega-9 fatty acids.
This type of fatty acid effectively reduces bad cholesterol (LDL), especially if saturated fat consumption is also limited.
The effectiveness of avocado in reducing bad cholesterol levels it’s also supported by its high fiber content. Avocado soluble fiber absorbs excess of LDL and eliminates it.
Consider a medium-sized avocado; that’s roughly 10 grams of fiber. With this amount, you’ll meet 40% of the adequate fiber intake per day. Also, its B6 content influences the immune system.
Some phytochemicals of legumes are directly involved in the reduction of serum cholesterol. Thus, preventing the formation of the atheroma plaque that degenerates into cardiovascular diseases.
Like whole grains, legumes reduce LDL cholesterol levels because they contain soluble fiber. Besides, as they are slow digestion foods, the following legumes help you feel full and lose weight:
- Beans (or red beans)
On the other hand, lectins favor the flow of blood cholesterol and its metabolism, thus reducing the risk of accumulation in the arteries’ walls.
Saponins decrease the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract, so their contribution is also beneficial.
Nevertheless, legumes contain fibers and isoflavones with demonstrated positive effects in dyslipidemias.
Hypocholesterolemic effects of this vegetable are partly due to its fiber content, which limits and delays the intestinal absorption of cholesterol.
This is because it favors mixing with bile acids and as a whole, is eliminated by feces.
Keep an eye on okra; this is a vegetable not well-known in our environment. However, it stands out for its richness in soluble fiber and mucilage. It is eaten cooked, raw in a salad, or dehydrated.
Nuts are excellent allies when it comes to cholesterol. They contain many beneficial agents to keep your levels in check. Especially:
On the other hand, they possess many calories, so it’s unnecessary to eat more than a handful a day. They should be consumed unsalted or sugarless to avoid nullifying their healthy properties.
Note that nuts represent an interesting contribution of alpha-linolenic acid, which the body transforms into omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains phytosterols.
Very few foods avoid high cholesterol like nuts.
Within vegetable oils, olive oil is essential to lower cholesterol. This is because it contains a high concentration of antioxidants, which help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol without reducing the presence of good or HDL cholesterol.
- Cardio protectors
- Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid)
- Vitamine E
To maximize the benefits of olive oil, try consuming it raw: in salad dressing or vegetables.
Regular soy intake provides a significant amount of:
- High quality nutritional fat-linoleic and oleic acid
All of them, with beneficial repercussions for the organism, above all, reduce serum cholesterol efficacy.
Isoflavones, especially genistein, one of the most abundant substances in soybeans, have been shown to promote:
- Inhibitory action of platelet aggregation
- Antioxidant activity on high density lipoproteins (LDL)
This greatly helps decreasing plasma cholesterol.
Fatty Fish, like salmon, is one of the best foods for lowering cholesterol. Benefits include:
- About 10 grs of fat
- Rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega-3 series, such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosahexaenoic acid)
- It has the ability to lower plasma triglycerides
- Increases arterial vasodilation
- Reduces the risk of thrombosis and blood pressure
Therefore, it’s a food with a high omega 3 fatty acid content, a subtype of the so-called “polyunsaturated fatty acids,”; which lowers total cholesterol.
Omega 3 acids in particular reduce blood pressure and prevent blood clotting.
Salmon’s healthy fats are especially recommended because they can replace red meat, which increases the “bad cholesterol” to a greater extent.
We recommend cooking fatty fish, such as:
- Baked herring, cooked or grilled
All of these foods, with their beneficial characteristics, are nominated as protectors of cardiovascular diseases.
However, its effects on LDL cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol levels will depend on each patient and medical history.
Now that you have the nutritional list of foods and essential oils to lower cholesterol tell us about your experience!