People with high cholesterol are at risk for serious complications. Well, one way to maintain normal cholesterol levels is to adjust your diet. What cholesterol-lowering foods can you eat? Check out the complete list below.
Variety of Cholesterol Lowering Foods and the Right Way to Cook
Types of cholesterol-lowering foods
Cholesterol is actually one type of fat needed by the body, such as to protect cells and help produce vitamin D.
However, excessive cholesterol levels can cause high cholesterol . This is one of the risk factors for various dangerous diseases.
In addition to cholesterol-lowering drugs, you are recommended to eat the following foods to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
Oatmeal is a food that is high in fiber and is often recommended for people with high cholesterol.
These foods contain soluble fiber or soluble fiber which can reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Quoted from the Mayo Clinic, consuming 5-10 grams of soluble fiber per day can lower LDL cholesterol. Well, you can get about 6 grams of fiber by eating one and a half cups of oatmeal .
To increase your daily fiber intake, you can also add oatmeal with fruits, such as bananas or berries.
Some types of nuts that are good as cholesterol-lowering foods are almonds and walnuts. Nuts are rich in fiber and unsaturated fats that the body needs.
Besides being good for lowering bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, these foods can also reduce the risk of various cholesterol complications, such as heart attacks .
Even so, you still have to pay attention to the portion of nuts you eat. This is because peanuts are high in calories.
You can eat nuts as a salad topping or snack for people with high cholesterol in sufficient portions.
1. Green vegetables
Vegetables are one of the most important cholesterol-lowering foods. Consumption of these foods helps prevent heart disease which is a complication of high cholesterol.
This is because green vegetables such as spinach, katuk, and kale are believed to protect blood vessels from plaque caused by cholesterol deposits.
You are advised to eat vegetables every day. Apart from being a companion to cholesterol-lowering foods after eating meat, you can process them into juices or smoothies .
There are many types of cholesterol-lowering fruit that you can consume. This type of food is high in fiber so it can lower LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Besides being rich in fiber, there are also fruits that contain monounsaturated fats such as avocados.
Of course, this is beneficial for lowering bad cholesterol levels in the blood, especially in people who are overweight or obese.
3. Soy milk
If you like to drink milk, it could not hurt to try soy milk. This type of milk for people with cholesterol is suitable to replace cow’s milk which is rich in fat.
Soy milk helps reduce cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Apart from soybeans, these benefits can also be obtained from processed foods, such as tofu and tempeh.
According to Harvard Health, consuming 25 grams of soy protein (10 ounces of tofu or 2 cups of soy milk) daily can reduce LDL levels by 5–6 percent.
4. Black tea
Relaxing in the afternoon is not complete without drinking hot tea. Without you knowing it, consuming tea can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
This benefit comes from the content of flavonoids, which are antioxidant compounds in black tea that help lower cholesterol and maintain heart health.
5. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Various fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as mackerel, mackerel, and tuna, are also cholesterol-lowering foods.
Although it does not directly affect bad cholesterol, eating a variety of fish for people with cholesterol can help lower triglyceride levels in the blood.
In addition, these foods also reduce the risk of blood clots and heart attacks caused by complications of high cholesterol .
The following are some recommended cooking methods to help keep cholesterol levels in the body safe and under control.
Observe the fat content of food
Cholesterol levels in the body are generally influenced by fat intake. If you eat too much saturated and trans fat , cholesterol levels may spike.
However, that does not mean you should not eat fat-rich foods, such as red meat.
Here are some things you can do while cooking red meat. This is useful for reducing saturated fat content in meat.
- Remove any visible fat before cooking red meat.
- Grilled red meat is better than fried.
- Cooking a day before eating will allow you to separate the fat from the cooked meat in the refrigerator. The next day, you can remove the fat that has been cooked from the meat.
- Modify the recipe you’re following, for example by avoiding frying and turning it into grilling.
- Choose chicken meat over duck meat, because duck meat has a high saturated fat content .
- Avoid meat that has been processed beforehand, such as sausages and meatballs.
- Combine cholesterol-lowering foods after eating meat, for example with vegetables and fruits.
2. Use less oil when frying vegetables
Vegetables become one of the various types of food to lower cholesterol. However, if the cooking method is wrong, you may not get the maximum benefits.
One of the recommended cooking methods is to saute using vegetable oil and add a little water if needed.
Choose a healthier oil, such as olive or canola oil. Do not use too much, just two teaspoons to cook as much as four servings of vegetables.
Add spices such as garlic or cinnamon to enhance the taste of the dish. Avoid using too much sugar, salt or flavoring.
3. Add fruit and vegetable puree when baking
Not only for cooking heavy meals, you can also add vegetables and fruits to low-cholesterol snacks .
When making cookie dough, biscuits, or muffins , you can add pureed fruits and vegetables to them.
In addition to adding flavor, the purpose of adding puree is to make the cake healthier.
Try adding apple puree to muffins or oatmeal cookies . You can also add bananas to bread or zucchini to brownies .
4. Substitute toppings and low-fat sauces
Toppings , salad dressings , and sauces that are added to food without realizing it actually increase the fat intake you consume.
For example, adding a tablespoon of mayonnaise to a salad means you’ve consumed about 5 grams of fat.
To maintain a creamy texture in salads, you can add Greek yogurt , olive oil, applesauce, and other foods as long as they are low in fat.
In addition to eating cholesterol-lowering foods, you also need to regularly take cholesterol medication that has been prescribed by a doctor to control its levels in the body.
You also need to balance it with a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and avoiding high-cholesterol foods, such as fried foods and fast food.
Always consult with your doctor to find out the steps to deal with high cholesterol appropriately and safely.