What causes high cholesterol? 5 foods to add to your low-cholesterol diet plan

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What causes high cholesterol? 5 foods to add to your low-cholesterol diet plan


Here are five foods that make up a good diet for lowering cholesterol while also reducing your risk for certain conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and cancer.

What causes high cholesterol? 

Having high levels of cholesterol, especially LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol, is linked to an increased risk of heart disease or stroke. But medication along with lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet, can help improve your cholesterol. Studies have shown that a person’s diet can have a powerful effect on their cholesterol and other risk factors.

High cholesterol, also called hypercholesterolemia, happens when you have fatty deposits in your blood vessels. These deposits can eventually limit blood flow and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke. The problem is that high cholesterol has no symptoms and it can be detected by a blood test.

High cholesterol: What causes it?

This condition is often caused by a poor lifestyle although it can be inherited. Making healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent or reduce the risk of bad cholesterol. Eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, good fats, and beans can help keep your cholesterol levels at healthy ranges. 

Here are five foods that make up a good cholesterol diet while also reducing your risk for certain conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and cancer.

Foods that lower cholesterol and improve heart health
Whole grains: Whole grain sources like oats, quinoa, and barley contain beta-glucan, a type of soluble fibre that has been shown to be effective at lowering ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Studies have suggested that whole grains may promote heart health.

Legumes: Legumes like beans and peas are another healthy option to add to your low cholesterol diet as they are rich in nutrients, including soluble fibre. They are a great source of plant-based protein that has been found to decrease triglycerides and blood pressure, both of which are heart disease risk factors.

Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts are exceptionally nutrient-dense food good for your heart. They are high in monounsaturated fats that can have a beneficial effect on the heart when consumed in moderation. Nuts are rich in cholesterol-lowering fats, fibre, and minerals that may improve heart health.

Garlic: Scientific studies suggest that garlic contains cholesterol-lowering properties that may be beneficial for people with high cholesterol. Allicin, the main active compound in garlic, and other plant compounds in the herb may help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce other risk factors for heart disease. Yet, it may be noted that the findings are conflicting as some studies dispute the efficacy of using garlic in lowering cholesterol.

Berries: Berries are a great source of soluble fibre, which helps lower cholesterol levels. A research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that blackberries have the highest LDL inhibitory effect, followed by red raspberries, sweet cherries, blueberries, and strawberries. Adding antioxidant-rich berries to your diet can help lower cholesterol and keep your heart healthy.

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