Sometimes, maintaining a healthy diet can be difficult This is especially true when trying to lower your cholesterol. You should try to make small changes first to see if that would help lower your numbers. Your total cholesterol reading should be less than 200. The key is to increase your fiber intake. Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol levels by binding to it in the intestines to prevent absorption into the body (Griffin). Oatmeal, apples, citrus fruits, strawberries, beans, and lentils are good sources of soluble fiber.
Nuts like walnuts, almonds, and pecans lower LDL (low-density lipoproteins) or “bad” cholesterol and also the risk for a heart attack. Fish contains unsaturated fat, which also lower LDL cholesterol. This includes monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. “Olive oil and avocado are two of the richest sources of monounsaturated fat in the human diet”(National Geographic). Olive oil lowers LDL cholesterol as it raises HDL cholesterol. HDL is high-density lipoproteins or “good” cholesterol. Garlic also helps lower cholesterol as it slows the development of atherosclerosis, which is hardening of the arteries (National Geographic). Olive oil and garlic are two of the best ingredients to use for cooking. For instance, you can sauté vegetables in olive oil. You can add fresh garlic to soups or salads.
Saturated fats, of course, appear to raise LDL levels. “The American Heart Association, for example, recommends limiting saturated fat to 7 percent of a person’s total daily calories” (National Geographic). Meats, dairy, eggs, and processed foods are high in saturated fat. It is always best to read food labels.
Juicing is another way to get healthy. Many people do not like the taste of natural fruit and vegetable juice. It’s a matter of choosing the right combinations of fruits and vegetables. For instance, combining a few cups of watermelon with a lime in a juicer can taste great over ice. Pomegranate is another great choice. Its juice contain antioxidants that can help prevent cardiovascular disease (National Geographic). There are many juice recipes on www.fatsickandnearlydead.com. The only downside to juicing is that it’s messy. So, if and when you decide to try juicing, don ‘t wear your best outfit. There is also a recipe for “Detox Soup”, which contains zucchini, broccoli, celery, kale, and leeks. It is low in calories and high in fiber.
All of those “statin” drugs are prescribed for high cholesterol. We know them as Lipitor, Altoprev, Pravachol, Zocor, Lescol, and Crestor (WebMD). They lower the amount of cholesterol that the body makes. If you follow a healthy diet and watch your fat intake, you can avoid taking any of these medications.
Griffin, R. Morgan. “Vitamins and Supplements Lifestyle Guide”. www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements.
National Geographic. Complete Guide to Natural Home Remedies. Washington: National Geographic Society, 2012. Print.