High cholesterol is a common health concern nowadays. Irrespective of the age, careless food habits and little physical movement, etc., it can increase our cholesterol level and eventually make us vulnerable to heart diseases.
So, having foods that help prevent cholesterol buildup will do a lot of good to you.
So, how to ensure that we don't allow our cholesterol level to shoot up, knowingly or unknowingly?
One way of controlling cholesterol is by giving up the role of being a couch potato. Endless intake of junk food, coupled with little or no exercise causes our body much damage. So, one preventive measure lies in stopping an unhealthy lifestyle habit.
Also Read: An Ancient Remedy For Cholesterol
The other way, as mentioned earlier, to keep cholesterol under check is by consuming superfoods that are rich in nutrients and also help us stay healthy. Add these superfoods to your diet and keep a check on the rise of cholesterol level in the body.
Here are some top superfoods or "cholesterol busters" that we must take to keep cholesterol away and ensure ourselves an evergreen heart, have a look.
1. Soya Foods:
Low in saturated fat, soya food helps in reducing cholesterol. The special protein content in them also regulates cholesterol. Studies have revealed that just 15 grams of soya protein intake a day can reduce the cholesterol level by around six per cent. Soya meat alternatives, soya alternatives to milk products, soya nuts, tofu and endmame beans are some examples of this superfood.
2. Oats & Barley:
These superfoods are rich in a kind of soluble fibre like beta-glucan that forms a cholesterol-binding gel and stops the harmful element from being absorbed in our body. About 3 grams of beta-glucan can do wonders to our body system.
3. Plant Sterols & Stanols:
Also known as ‘phytosterols', these plant products like fruits, vegetables and vegetable oils, seeds and nuts help a great deal in fighting LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or ‘Bad Cholesterol'. A daily intake of 1.5-2.4 grams of plant sterols and stanols can reduce cholesterol by about 7-10 percent in just 2-3 weeks' time. These superfoods prevent the rise of cholesterol level by blocking its absorption in the gut.
Rich in vegetable protein, healthy unsaturated fats, vitamin E, magnesium, fibre, potassium, natural plant sterols, etc., opt these cholesterol busting foods to have a healthy heart. Eating 30-35 grams of nuts a day can reduce cholesterol by an average of 5 percent.
5. Foods With Unsaturated Fat Content:
While we must concentrate on reducing our saturated fat content, at the same time, we should also replace it with unsaturated fats that are found in sunflower oil, olives, corn, vegetables, seed oils, avocado, oily fish, nuts, etc.
6. Fruits & Vegetables:
The most common form of superfoods, fruits and vegetables, have low saturated food content and are also good source of cholesterol-lowering soluble fibres. Beans, broccolis, strawberries, sweet potatoes, apples, okra, etc., do a great job in reducing the cholesterol level.
About Mediterranean Diet:
Mediterranean diet is considered the healthiest diet on this planet and it is a rare combination of solid nutrition and tasty foods.
Doctors prescribe Mediterranean diet to those who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, since its benefits have been scientifically proven.
Besides, it is also very effective in preventing diseases like cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. A feature of the Mediterranean diet is that it is characterised by the basics of healthy cooking and eating habits.
For example, the traditional Mediterranean way of eating puts emphasis on cooking with spices and herbs instead of salt. The following superfoods make the Mediterranean diet such a rich source of nutrients:
• Olive oil
• Whole grains
• Red wine (yes, you have read it right. A popular part of the diet in the Mediterranean, red wine has antioxidants that are helpful for the heart)
So, prepare a superfood chart right away and follow it in place of valueless junk foods that make you fat but weak and put you at the mercy of dangerous diseases.