High fiber vegetable source foods are best for a cholesterol lowering diet. This includes beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. In addition to fiber, all of these have natural phytochemicals (plant chemicals) which are beneficial to your heart health and your overall well-being.
Use beans and whole grain recipes for dinner to substitute the protein you would normally get from animal meat. This greatly reduces the amount of animal fat and cholesterol you take in, which is an automatic plus for your heart. On top of that, both beans and whole grains are very fiber-rich.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Cold water fish like salmon and tuna, flax seeds, and walnuts are great sources of heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. These natural fatty acids are proven to help lower cholesterol. Keeping these foods in your diet are a must, but they should all be eaten with moderation.
Look for “Good” Fats
Utilize olive oil as one of your main sources of fat. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, which means it is naturally good for your heart. Avoid solid fats like butter and lard as often as possible, because they are saturated fats. Saturated fats are often partially to blame for weight gain and high cholesterol. Olive oil, however, has been proven to help lower cholesterol.
Spice it up with herbs and spices instead of salt and other sodium- or fat-rich seasonings. Herbs and spices can be just as effective, and often give you a wider range of flavors. There are countless combinations to pick from to fit any taste!
Be Smart About Dairy
Cut down on the amount of cheese you consume. This can be a large source of saturated fat consumed in a day. If you still want to include it, try going for fat-free or skim-milk options. Normally, the difference between whole cheeses and low-fat options are small.
Be Smart About Processed Flours and Sugar
Eat less white flour and sugar, which can increase insulin secretion thereby increasing cholesterol production. Whole grains are not only a source beneficial fiber as stated above, but are lower in harmful sugars and have less empty calories. You get even more benefits for fewer drawbacks.
Learn how to make a healthier butter by mixing Nutrim with your butter. Watch the video recipe available on our website by following this link http://www.oathealth.com/video-recipes/heart_healthy_nutrim_butter .
- carrots and humus
- any whole fruit
- black bean and corn salsa (loaded with beans and corn)
- unsalted trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruits
- celery sticks and almond butter
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It is also one of the main causes of death in Canada and is killing more and more people throughout the world. Learning the ins and outs of this disease now can help you avoid major health problems down the road.
Dietary advice for reducing heart disease risk includes eating a balanced diet with less saturated fat from red meats, more fresh fruits and vegetables, more fish, less sugar, more fiber and for many people, fewer total calories. Then you can make your heart and the rest of your cardiovascular system even healthier by adding more of these foods:
Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that protect your heart by reducing both inflammation and the risk of blood clots. These fats also work to keep your cholesterol levels healthy along with lowering triglycerides. Eat salmon or other oily ocean fish like tuna, sardines or herring at least two times per week. For a heart-healthy meal, try grilled salmon steaks with a green vegetable and a side salad with a sprinkling of lemon juice instead of high-calorie salad dressing.
Olive oil reduces your risk of heart disease by lowering your LDL cholesterol levels. Choose olive oil for cooking, or make a nice dip for whole grain bread by pouring a bit of olive oil in a small bowl and add a bit of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of oregano.
Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta glucan that helps reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Soluble fiber also helps keep your digestive system healthy. Enjoy oatmeal with just a small amount of brown sugar and plenty of strawberries and walnuts for breakfast. Cold cereals made with oats are also great with low-fat milk or soy milk plus slices of fresh fruit.
Apples contain a phytochemical called quercetin which acts as an antiinflammatory and will help prevent blood clots as well. Apples contain vitamins and fiber, come in several delicious varieties and are portable. Eat an apple with a handful of walnuts or almonds as a healthy snack or add apple slices to your healthy salads. Apples are very versatile, and their fiber content helps to make them filling.
Almonds and other nuts contain healthy oils, vitamin E and other substances that will help keep cholesterol levels in check. Almonds are also a good source of protein and fiber. Almonds make a great snack on their own, or sprinkle slivered almonds on green beans or asparagus with lemon juice as a deliciously healthy side dish. The possibilities with the beneficial nut are practically endless.
Red wine contains a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol. Resveratrol has been shown to be good for your heart. Be sure to enjoy red wine in moderation. While studies show that only 4 to 8 ounces of red wine is needed each day, it can be a healthy way to add elegance to a meal.
Whole grains provide vitamins and fiber that will help to keep your heart healthy. Make a deliciously healthy sandwich with two slices of 100-percent whole-grain bread, three ounces of lean turkey breast, lots of sliced tomatoes and avocado, plus lettuce and a bit of low-fat mustard. Switch from white pasta to whole grain pasta too. Whole grain pastas are just as versatile and delicious as white pastas, but the benefits are much higher.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables contain folate, which helps to keep homocysteine levels down, and vitamin E. Green leafy vegetables have also been associated with better retention of memory as age. Try using fresh spinach leaves or other greens for your favorite salad instead of iceberg lettuce. Another benefit of these is that many of them are good sources of fiber, which is always good to incorporate in a healthy diet.
Tomatoes are packed with vitamins and lycopene, which has been shown to reduce heart disease risk. Add thick slices of tomatoes to sandwiches and salads or enjoy low-sodium tomato sauce on whole wheat pasta. In fact, cooked tomato sauce and canned tomato sauce that you buy in the store both contain more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Be sure to try and find low-sodium options, though, because tomato products can often be very high in sodium.
Soy protein has been shown to prevent heart attacks and soy makes an excellent protein substitute for red meat, which will reduce your saturated fat intake. Add tofu to your favorite stir fry or pour soy milk on your morning cereal. Soy is rich in isoflavones, which are very helpful in regulating cholesterol levels and improving heart health. Soy is also very versatile, and can be eaten as meat replacement, in beverages, or as a snack in the form of soy nuts.