It is essential to keep your heart health in order by controlling your cholesterol levels. In general, a dietician’s advice would be to cut out fatty foods. Particularly, foods with low levels of saturated fat help to keep your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels low. However, you may be wondering what you should be eating to actively lower your levels of LDL and triglycerides. We have compiled a short list of cholesterol-reducing super foods.

Fruits and Vegetables

They are soluble fibres and low in saturated fat, which help in reducing bad cholesterol. It is important to include pulses to your diet such as peas, lentils (daal) and beans. Also, consider adding ladies finger, brinjal, sweet potato, parsnips, broccoli, spinach, strawberry, avocado and apples to your diet. It is possible to consume these raw, juiced or in a cooked form. Adults are recommended a portion size of 80g, which is a handful.

Oats

They contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan, which binds to cholesterol in the intestines and prevents its absorption. Daily consumption of 3g of beta-glucan is recommended. Two servings of oats can be eaten for breakfast to banish that bad cholesterol.

Soya Products

They are naturally low in saturated fat. Including 15g of soya protein per day can lower your cholesterol levels by 6%, according to Heart UK. Soya alternatives can be found for yoghurt, milk, meat and desserts. Consuming tofu, which has the same texture as paneer can be a healthy alternative. You can also consume edamame beans, a Japanese delicacy and soya nuts.

Nuts

Mixed nuts can be a healthier snacking alternative to chips, samosas or mixtures, which are high in cholesterol. Nuts contain fibre, vegetable protein, unsaturated fats, magnesium, vitamin E and plant sterols. Heart UK suggest a daily intake of 30-35g of nuts to lower cholesterol by 5%. Consume almonds, cashews and walnuts, which are also rich in omega-3. However, keep in mind that nuts are high in calories so practice portion control.

Salmon

They are a very rich source of omega-3 that can help keep heart disease and dementia away. Fatty acids in fish help to lower bad cholesterol levels. Sardines, herring, tuna and anchovies can also be good sources of omega-3, which can raise good cholesterol by about 4%, according to prevention.com.

Chocolate

Yes! Your favourite snack can actually keep cholesterol levels at bay. Dark or bittersweet chocolate is better for health, as it contains three times as much antioxidants, compared to milk chocolate. The antioxidants work to keep your arteries unclogged, which leads to coronary artery disease, by preventing blood platelets from sticking together. White chocolate does not contain any antioxidants, so try to refrain from it.

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