People who have high LDL cholesterol issue should know which foods are healthful for heart and which are not. By eating the right foods, you are able to raise the good cholesterol while lower the bad. However, it is not enough to know what are good and bad. You will also need to understand how to prepare foods in a healthful manner as well.
1. Heart healthy foods to choose.
Eat foods that are heart healthy. The American Heart Association suggests that heart healthy foods are those that can help lower the “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and increase the “good” (HDL) cholesterol. Generally, heart healthy foods are high in antioxidants and fibers. Soluble fibers are very important in removing LDL cholesterol from your system. Some high-fiber food you can consider include beans, whole grains, legumes, seed and nuts, fruit and vegetables as well as healthy oils. For an example, you should also have oatmeal for your breakfast because it contains a lot of soluble fibers. Foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids are rich in antioxidants and powerful in lowering LDL cholesterol. Some suggested foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil, and cold water fish like sardines, salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, herring and lake trout. You should consume healthy oils because monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are heart friendly. For an instance, extra virgin olive oil is a good antioxidant-rich monounsaturated fat that can lower your LDL cholesterol level. In addition, low fat protein from beans, poultry, fish and low fat soy foods are good for your heart, so as the healthy nuts and seeds including almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pistachios and sunflower seeds.
2. Avoid or limit foods that are unhealthy for heart.
You should avoid or limit the consumption of foods that can do harm to your heart, especially those high in saturated or trans fats, which can increase bad cholesterol. Foods you should avoid include animal products like organ meats, whole-fat dairy products, red meat and some saturated fat culprits such as many fast foods and processed or fried foods.
3. Pay attention to your cooking methods.
You need to pay attention to your cooking methods and only use heart healthy ones. The heart healthy cooking methods include poaching, steaming, grilling and baking without excessive oils. According to the USDA and the American Heart Association, other cooking methods might increase the LDL cholesterol and you should get rid of them.
4. Read the food labels.
Learn how to read and understand food labels so that you will be able to monitor how much total fat, trans fats or saturated fats you are consuming from foods.
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