Many different types of foods and components of foods can help lower LDL and boost HDL. Here are the cholesterol lowering foods that health practitioners recommend most.
Oat bran is rich in soluble fibre, a substance that binds with cholesterol in the intestine and ushers it out of the body. Dr Rothenberg a naturopathic doctor in Enfield, Connecticut recommends eating ¾ of a cup of cooked oat bran cereal a day: this, she says, can lower cholesterol by 10 per cent.
Cayenne helps regulate cholesterol and lipid levels.
Turmeric a yellow coloured powder used as a food colouring agent and as a spice has been shown to exhibit favourable effects on lowering LDL Cholesterol.
Cinnamon may have potential for lowering LDL Cholesterol in addition to its known properties of lowering blood sugar levels in type II diabetics. Research is continuing to determine which form of Cinnamon may be the most beneficial.
Fenugreek Seed in the diet has been shown to reduce blood glucose and plasma cholesterol levels.
Plaintain Seed has been shown by scientists in Italy, Russia and other countries to reduce the intestinal absorption of lipids.
Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, which can help lower total cholesterol levels and improve the HDL/LDL cholesterol ratio. A study has found that eating walnuts at the end of a meal may help to reduce the damage fatty foods can do to the arteries. The study looked at 24 adults, half with normal cholesterol and half with levels that were moderately high, who were given two high fat meals eaten one week apart. The researchers then added five teaspoons of olive oil for one meal and eight shelled walnuts for the other. The results revealed that both the olive oil and nuts reduced the onset of inflammation following a meal high in saturated fat. But the walnuts also helped preserve the elasticity of the arteries. Almonds have been shown to be just as good at lowering LDL cholesterol as walnuts, and should be just as cardio-protective.
Onions and Garlic
Cook with garlic and onions whenever possible. Both have been shown to cut cholesterol.
Garlic is well known as a cholesterol lowering agent, containing a compound called allicin that changes the way in which the body uses cholesterol, says Stephen Warshafsky MD, assistant professor of medicine at New York Medical College in Valhalla. When Dr Warshafsky analysed data from five of the most reliable scientific studies on garlic and cholesterol, he found that eating one-half to one clove of garlic a day lowered blood cholesterol an average of 9 per cent. Taken fresh or as a supplement it is almost as effective as some cholesterol lowering drugs. Additional benefits are the prevention of clots and positive effects on plaque formation.
Although it is much too early to tell if this will benefit those with heart disease, a few preliminary studies suggest that ginger may lower cholesterol and prevent the blood from clotting. Each of these effects may protect the blood vessels from blockage and the damaging effects of blockage such as atherosclerosis, which as we know can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
In future articles we will cover more of the top foods that nutrition experts recommend for lowering cholesterol.