Knowing that you have high cholesterol can be an overwhelming and scary place to be because you are constantly aware of the risks involved and the changes you need to make. Fortunately, experts believe it’s the small, dedicated changes that add up over time and make all the difference in lowering cholesterol.
“This is not about adding or subtracting egg yolks, which is probably the most incorrect information you have heard regarding cholesterol lowering, but rather it is about focusing on adopting a more quality diet so that over time it simply becomes the way you live and doesn’t require constant effort, ”says medical expert Laura Burak, MS, RD, author of Slimdown with Smoothies and founder of Laura Burak Nutrition.
To learn more about how to make these dietary changes, we spoke with Burak and another medical expert Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, author of The recipe book of the mother’s first pregnancy And Feeding male fertilityon their advice for the best habits to adopt to lower cholesterol.
Here’s what they had to say, and for healthier heart advice, check out the best foods that can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Yes, there are some foods that someone with high cholesterol may want to avoid or limit, but our dieters want readers to know that adding healthy, whole foods to your daily diet can significantly help cholesterol levels and health. general.
“Center the foundation of your diet around nutritious whole foods like fruits and vegetables and heart-healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil and fatty fish like salmon, which have been shown to help improve lipids in the blood, “says Burak.
Oats are known for their long list of health benefits, helping with just about everything under the sun like improving gut health, helping manage weight, improve insulin resistance, and help lower cholesterol.
“Oats contain a fiber called beta-glucan, which essentially helps remove cholesterol from the body,” says Manaker. “While adding oats to breakfast is an obvious dish, these whole grains can be added to a slew of other dishes (even meatloaf!) To help give your diet a beta-glucan boost.”
Eating lots of whole foods regularly is one of the keys to lowering cholesterol. According to Burak, staying away from added sugar and processed foods can work wonders for your heart health too.
“Contrary to what one might have believed in the past about cholesterol, the abundance of added sugars in our modern diet is a major contributing factor to cholesterol increases and heart disease, not previously demonized foods like eggs and dairy products,” says Burak. “It is very important to limit the intake of processed foods and added sugars such as candy and cookies.”
Watermelon is a surprisingly powerful fruit, especially when it comes to your heart health. And thankfully, this good news comes just in time for plenty of summer picnics and barbecues.
“Watermelon is a natural source of lycopene, a carotenoid that, when taken daily at certain doses, can reduce LDL cholesterol levels,” says Maanker. “According to the results of a clinical study published in Current Developments in Nutrition, eating watermelon is linked to lowering LDL cholesterol and improving HDL cholesterol. Watermelon is a convenient addition to many dishes and is a classic moisturizing snack that is loved by many. Plus, the whole watermelon is edible (including the peel!), Which also makes it a sustainable food choice. “
Along with watermelon, berries have also been found to help improve your overall health and especially the health of your heart.
“Berries are a naturally sweet food with no added sugar and are packed with nutrients good for you that support heart health,” says Manaker. “Data from a meta-analysis showed that consuming berries significantly reduced LDL cholesterol levels, making them an obvious choice for lowering cholesterol.”
Don’t have fresh berries where you live? Manaker says “frozen options can be just as nutritious as fresh options, and in many cases, they can also be much cheaper.”