Home Health & Wellness Add These 7 Cholesterol-Busting Foods to Your Diet to Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

Add These 7 Cholesterol-Busting Foods to Your Diet to Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

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Over two in five people in the UK have high cholesterol, increasing their risk of developing heart disease. But some foods can be added to a normal diet to help reduce this trend.

As LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol) increase, many older adults are dealing with high cholesterol daily and must adapt their diets accordingly. 

With that in mind, Stewart Mcginn, managing director at Baycroft Care Homes, advises the best foods to lower cholesterol and lead a healthier life. 

Oily fish

Oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and swordfish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help you to both lower or maintain good cholesterol levels. 

These essential fats help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels by lowering triglyceride levels (the main component of body fat in people). For those with high cholesterol, fish is a healthier alternative to meat – especially red meat, which is high in saturated fats. 

Wholegrain foods

Wholegrain foods are a great way of introducing more fibre into your diet. For example, you can swap your regular white rice, bread or pasta for healthier brown rice, wholemeal bread and wholewheat pasta. 

But why is this beneficial? A high-fibre diet helps waste quickly move through the digestive system and lowers the LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, which increases your chances of a stroke or heart disease). 

Nuts and seeds

When lowering your cholesterol, it’s important to cut out saturated fats in your diet and replace them with healthier unsaturated fats like nuts. 

Whether you want to sit snacking on a bag of healthy nuts or add them to savoury recipes or salads, they are good for the body as they contain fibre which can stop cholesterol from entering the bloodstream. Some great nut options are almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts. 

Oats and barley

Oats and barley are good foods to incorporate into your diet when working on lowering your cholesterol.

Both ingredients contain beta-glucan, a soluble fibre that forms a gel that attaches to the cholesterol in your intestines and prevents your body from absorbing it. Try swapping out your usual breakfast for porridge as an easy way to add them to your diet

Beans and pulses 

Adding beans or pulses like baked beans, kidney beans, chickpeas or lentils to your diet can significantly lower your risk of heart disease by lowering the body’s LDL (bad cholesterol). 

You can easily start consuming more beans and pulses regularly by adding them into recipes, whether it’s a curry, a homemade soup, a chilli or even a variety of dips. 

Fruit

Fruits are high in a soluble fibre known as pectin and host many health benefits, including lowering cholesterol, improving blood sugar and helping the body to maintain a healthy weight.

Fruits that are highest in pectin include; citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, pome fruits like pears and apples, and stone fruits like plums.

Vegetables

We’ve all been told about the importance of eating our greens, and it is vital when it comes to lowering cholesterol. Each green vegetable has a host of helpful nutrients, from avocados and broccoli to Brussels sprouts to battle high cholesterol

Avocados contain monounsaturated fats and fibre that lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Broccoli contains high levels of fibre but also beta-carotene, which prevents LDL (bad) cholesterol. Brussels sprouts are full of vitamin C, which helps keep your blood vessels healthy and lowers blood pressure.

Before making any significant changes to your diet, it is important to seek medical advice from a doctor or healthcare professional who can give you information tailored to your needs.

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