When you think of cholesterol, you think of the substance that doctors tell everyone to lower if they want to reduce their risk of heart disease. However, not all cholesterol is bad. There are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) also known as “bad” cholesterol and there are high-density lipoproteins (HDL) also known as “good” cholesterol. You don’t want too much LDL because it can increase your risk of heart disease. Fortunately, with a healthy enough diet, you can reduce your risk of accumulating too much LDL, keep your cholesterol low, and reduce your risk of heart disease.
To some, avocados are an acquired taste; to others, avocados are a staple in their everyday diet as long as they can afford them. Avocados are a nutrient-dense fruit that helps lower LDL and raises HDL. Studies have shown that those who consume at least one avocado a day can significantly reduce LDL levels compared to those who don’t consume avocados at all. Avocados also contain mono-saturated fatty acids which aid in heart health. Think of it as the perfect fruit for your heart, even if it doesn’t taste like fruit at all.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean just any fish. We’re looking at ones that are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and albacore tuna. There are numerous studies that show those who regularly consume fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids had lower blood pressure and lower bad cholesterol levels. It also helps prevent the risk of stroke and even cancer-preventing properties. If you’re looking to simultaneously take care of your heart and your cholesterol levels then keep an eye out for fish with a lot of omega-3.
Lowering cholesterol doesn’t mean you have to give up on the sweets. It also doesn’t mean you have to only eat food that you don’t enjoy. If fish and avocados are too nasty for you, then keep an eye out for dark chocolate. Cocoa, one of the main ingredients in dark chocolate, helps lower LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. Not only does dark chocolate help lower your cholesterol, but it also helps lower your blood pressure, which has benefits to your heart as well. Take care of your heart by doing a number of things to lower both your high cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Physical exercise at least thirty minutes a day does wonder for your heart but don’t think you only have to eat bland food to be healthy. Having a balanced diet will not only keep your heart healthy but help lower the bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. Remember this list of food the next time you go grocery shopping.