With most of us still trying desperately to keep up our New Year Resolutions, those of us that are that are trying to eat healthier are being told of seven foods that can help lower their cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
And it’s not all bad as chocolate is one of the seven superfoods you should be incorporating into your diet!
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is an important fatty substance that our body needs to function properly and keep us healthy. It is important for producing hormones, aiding digestion and building cell membranes but too much of it can be an issue.
Low-density lipoprotein is considered a bad cholesterol and too much of it causes a buildup of cholesterol.
High-density lipoprotein on the other hand is a good cholesterol which removes plaque and buildup from arteries.
Ashleigh Tosh, nutrition expert from Prepped Pots who compiled the lists said: “Our cholesterol is really important to overall heart health and wellbeing and we should take good care of it. The good news is there are foods out there that can lower high cholesterol levels and provide us with good cholesterol which is important in keeping our arteries clean.
“It’s important to remember that good cholesterol health comes from other elements to. A healthy diet, regular exercise and limits on alcohol and smoking are all crucial to good heart health.”
7 foods to lower your cholesterol:
Adding berries such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries into your diet is an easy and tasty way to lower your cholesterol. They are packed with antioxidants and fibre that improve your overall heart health. Enjoy them on their own or add them to shakes and breakfasts.
2. Fatty fish
Fatty fish like salmon are rich in omega-3 and can increase our levels of ‘good’ cholesterol. Other types of fatty fish include tuna and sardines.
This popular fruit contains healthy fats which lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol, giving it the perfect balance. Because they are a fatty fruit, try to limit yourself to half an avocado a day.
Garlic contains compounds that can lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. It’s a vegetable which can be easily incorporated into just about any recipe. You can also take this in supplement form.
Almonds and walnuts are filled with healthy fats and fibres contributing to a healthy heart. Make a trail mix and eat around an ounce or two a day or add them into salads, breakfasts and smoothies.
6. Fibre rich vegetables
Vegetables are an important part of any healthy diet. Fibre rich veg like broccoli and brussels sprouts are particularly good for the heart, having a positive impact on cholesterol levels.
7. Dark chocolate
In moderation, dark chocolate can contribute to a healthy heart. In order to reap the benefits opt for a chocolate with at least a 70% cocoa content.