Someone has rightly said that we are what we eat. In the present time, where we rely so much on packaged and deep fried foods, it is most likely that every other person is suffering from high cholesterol. And we all know that high cholesterol is one of the major causes of heart attacks and coronary heart diseases.
According to Dr Tarun Sahni, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, there are super foods that needs to be included in daily diet to keep cholesterol under control and one also needs to limit intake of food that contains saturated fat (meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, deep-fried, and processed foods), trans fat (fried and processed foods) and cholesterol (present in animal foods, meat and cheese). Obesity/uncontrolled weight and other genetic factors also contribute to high cholesterol.
Scroll below to know about the super foods that can naturally help cut down cholesterol and keep it in check.
These are rich sources of fibre and other vital nutrients, which help regulate blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart. Avoid white, refined products low in nutrition and bad for overall health and the heart. (Image: istock)
Lean meat, skinless chicken, fish, low-fat dairy items and eggs comprise some of the best protein sources. For example, some fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids that lower blood fats termed triglycerides. Walnuts and soya beans are also good sources. Coming to eggs, while being good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, the latest research indicates they do not impact cholesterol levels. (Image: istock)
Fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are also high in fibre, and some types of fibre can help to lower your cholesterol. Fibre helps block some cholesterol from being absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. Pulses such as beans, peas and lentils are particularly high in this kind of fibre. Sweet potato, aubergine, okra (ladies’ fingers), broccoli, apples, strawberries and prunes are also good options. Fresh, seasonal varieties are always best rather than canned or non-seasonal ones. (Image: istock)
Nuts are good sources of unsaturated fats and lower in saturated fats, a mix which can help to keep your cholesterol in check. They contain fibre which can help block some cholesterol being absorbed into the blood stream from the gut. Plus, protein, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, natural plant sterols and other plant nutrients which help keep your body healthy. They’re also filling, so you’re less likely to snack on other things. (Image: istock)
Oats and barley
Oats and barley are grains which are rich in a type of fibre called beta glucan – 3g of beta-glucan daily, as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, can help to lower cholesterol. When you eat beta glucan, it forms a gel which binds to cholesterol-rich bile acids in the intestines. This helps limit the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed from the gut into your blood. Your liver has to take more cholesterol out of your blood to make more bile, which also lowers your blood cholesterol. (Image: istock)
Olive oil and Mustard oils are some of the healthiest forms of oils that have unsaturated fat and help in lowering cholesterol. Avoid coconut and palm oil as, unlike other vegetable oils, they are high in saturated fat. The key to reducing cholesterol levels is curbing intake of unhealthy fats. Consume less butter, cheese and saturated or refined oils. Avoid hydrogenated oils. Instead, choose foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as fish and flaxseeds. (Image: istock)