Lower cholesterol is a goal for many middle aged and older men and women. Cholesterol is broken into two separate components, one of which is considered to be good for you and one of which is considered to be bad. Unhealthy foods are typically responsible for lowering good cholesterol and raising bad cholesterol levels, or just one of the two.
With an appropriate diet that is rich in particular sources of food, you can combat the tendency for your cholesterol levels to remain at a bad point. The following diets and foods can be incorporated into your regular meal plan for a healthier cholesterol. Improving your overall cholesterol will also help you to avoid a number of potentially very serious medical conditions, including heart disease, other cardiovascular troubles, stroke and many other conditions.
1. High Fiber
Diets that are rich in fiber are shown to dramatically improve cholesterol. These diets often include oatmeal, bran and plenty of whole grains. By including foods that are rich in these nutrients with the basic foods that you eat regularly, you’ll help to lower the bad cholesterol levels in your system and to raise the good cholesterol at the same time. This can significantly help to impact your overall health and it is relatively easy to accomplish; simply substitute in high fiber versions of all of your favorite carbohydrate foods for the more heavily processed ones that you may already be eating.
Diets that are high in fish, like the Mediterranean diet and the South Beach diet, are both excellent for raising the levels of good cholesterol in your body and lowering unhealthy cholesterol levels. The reason for this lies primarily in a certain component that exists in most fish. Called omega-3 fatty acids, this type of nutrient is a healthy fat that works wonders for your heart health and for a variety of other parts of your overall health. Fattier fishes tend to have more of this nutrient, and halibut, salmon and tuna are among the best sources. Plan to grill the fish lightly in a low fat oil for the best results on your cholesterol.
Diets that are heavy in nuts will typically have good results on your cholesterol. However, with nuts it is important to be aware of the fact that they are high in calories and fat; a diet that is rich in nuts will not typically contain a heavy amount of them. These snacks should be eaten in moderation for the best range of benefits.
4. Olive Oil
Many diets are rich in olive oil, like the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is a great choice for a baking or cooking oil, because it is lower in calories and higher in healthy fats than alternatives like butter or margerine. Olive oil is proven to lead to lower levels of bad cholesterol in your bloodstream, making it a very healthy addition to any diet.