Eating legumes, oats, apples and nuts can help balance your levels of cholesterol. Learn about their benefits.
What we eat plays an important role in lowering cholesterol levels. Published in the journal American College of Nutrition, the following are a few foods that can help protect the heart.
- Half cup of legumes. Foods such garbanzo beans, lentils, pinto beans, soybeans and peas are excellent sources of soluble fiber. This substance connects to bile salts which saturate with cholesterol and are found in the intestine, aiding in their elimination through feces.
- A small bowl of oats. This grain contains betaglucan, a water-soluble fiber that helps reduce the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood. The recommended amount is ¼ cup of uncooked oat bran (you can add it to smoothies or get it from eating a cup and a half of cooked oatmeal).
- An apple a day. Due to the antioxidant polyphenols found in the skins of apples, a serving of this fruit a day helps slow the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the body.
- A handful of nuts and a spoonful of seeds. Nuts, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help increase good cholesterol. As a tip, remember to consider their calorie content, and try adding them to yogurts and salads.
- 2 cups of green or white tea. Unlike other teas, which are made from fermented leaves, these two varieties are less processed, which prevents the deterioration of a potent antioxidant that this plant contains. According to the American College of Nutrition, EGCG can reduce LDL by up to 9 mg/dL.
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