The hardworking poor in ancient Egypt dined mostly on vegetables such as onions, garlic, leek, lentils, cabbage, radish, turnip, lupines, tomatoes, and cucumber; fruits like figs, grapes, and pomegranates; and proteins including whole grains and some poultry.
Too bad the upper classes didn't stick with the same heart-loving diet.
A study of mummies' cardio systems revealed that wealthy Egyptians ate a lot of fatty meats from cattle, geese, and ducks, used plenty of salt for food preservation — and had loads of atherosclerosis.
So if you want to be smarter than King Tut, try these five foods to keep your LDL cholesterol in check:
1. Aim for two to three servings per day of high-fiber whole grains such as steel-cut oats, barley and wheat. They help clear out LDL fats.
2. Other high-fiber foods are important too, including legumes like beans and peas, and vegetables such as okra and eggplant.
3. Pectin-containing fruits like apples and citrus help lower LDL with their soluble fiber.
4. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, sea trout) help lower circulating triglycerides and help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels by substituting healthy oils for sat fats in red and processed meats.
5. Replace butter and hydrogenated oils (trans fats) with mono- and polyunsaturated oils such as extra-virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, and peanut oil. They help maintain healthy LDL levels and boost heart-healthy HDL levels.
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