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Lower Cholesterol With Diet Changes: 8 Simple Steps

Oct 25, 2009

If you are battling high cholesterol, you can drastically lower your cholesterol levels by making simple modifications to your cholesterol diet. By taking these few simple steps, you can get your cholesterol to a healthy level and reduce your risk of heart disease.

1. Eat Your Oatmeal

Experts agree that oatmeal is one of the best foods to eat if you're interested in lowering your cholesterol. Recent studies suggest that eaing oatmeal can lower your LDL or "bad" cholesterol while allowing you to maintain the proper amount of HDL or "good" cholesterol. Oats have also been proven to reduce your risk for elevated blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

2. Replace Saturated Fats with Polyunsaturated Fats

Butters and shortening contain a harmful saturated fat known as trans fat. In addition to increasing your cholesterol, trans fat helps plaque form in your arteries which can lead to heart attacks. Replace these harmful fats with healthy polyunsaturated fats like the ones contained in olive and canola oil. Cooking with these oils promotes heart health and aids weight loss.

3. Get Rid of Red Meat

Red meat contains a high amount of saturated fat. If you consume too much saturated fat, you force your body to produce more cholesterol than it needs. To reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet, use lean proteins such as chicken and fish instead of red meat (eat red meat in extreme moderation). Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids which have been proven to reduce triglycerides and decrease the growth of plaque in the arteries.

4. Go with Whole Grains

Eating a diet full of simple carbohydrates like those found in milk, sugar and fruit can increase fat and cholesterol levels. Replace these foods with complex carbohydrates. Whole grains are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates. Eating whole grain pastas, breads and cereals will provide your body with the energy it needs and significantly reduce cholesterol levels.

5. Eat Some Soy Protein

Soy protein is composed of compounds called phtyoestrogens. These compounds help the liver eliminate harmful cholesterol from your bloodstream. Using tofu as a substitute for meat proteins in your favorite dishes is a great way to incorporate soy into your diet.

6. Get Cooking with Garlic

Studies show that adding a little garlic to your diet can reduce your cholesterol levels by as much as 20 percent. Garlic is full of antioxidants which halt the oxidation of LDL and prevent build up in the arteries.

7. Snack on Some Almonds

Munching on raw and unsalted almonds can have a positive effect on your cholesterol. The oil found in almonds is full of monounsaturated fatty acids which lower cholesterol levels. Also, almonds contain Vitamin E which is known to decrease LDL oxidation.

8. Consume Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients and vitamins and have no cholesterol. Replacing those cookies with carrot sticks can give your body the boost it needs and drastically reduce your risk of heart disease.

If you are dealing with high cholesterol, you don't need medication to lower your numbers. Eating a well-balanced diet full of cholesterol lowering foods can help you naturally reduce your levels of LDL and lead to a healthier, happier you.

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