Healthy cholesterol levels are important for overall health, and certain foods can help maintain recommend total cholesterol levels of less than 200mg/dL.
Cholesterol regulation is important to help prevent the buildup of blockages in the arteries which can lead to heart problems and stroke, according to NIH Medline Plus
. HDL is called “good” cholesterol because it helps remove the risk of these blockages. LDL is called “bad” cholesterol because it can lead to a buildup of plaque which can cause long-term health problems.
Among therapeutic lifestyle changes recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are several positive food
choices that can promote good cholesterol and control bad cholesterol. Here are some easy ones to include in your daily diet.
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1. Dried Fruits:
While all fruits can help lower saturated fat in your diet, raisins or other dried fruit can make a convenient snack. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advised that calories can become a problem with too much dried fruit consumption.
2. Spicy Meats:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adding spices and herbs to low-fat meats to make them tastier. An added benefit of these spices is that some have cholesterol-lowering benefits themselves.
3. Fat Free Dairy:
While dairy carries important calcium and protein for overall body health, the fat can become a problem. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends fat-free or low-fat dairy products including milk, cheeses and yogurts.
4. Oatmeal: Mayo Clinic experts point to oatmeal as a “top food”
to improve cholesterol. The fiber in oatmeal reduces bad cholesterol by reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream.
Another “top food” suggested by Mayo Clinic experts is fatty fish. These can include trout, tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines. The omega-3 fatty acids in the fish help prevent heart disease.
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Nuts are high in protein and contain no cholesterol. WebMD points to
tree nuts, including hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts can help control cholesterol. Walnuts have high levels of the same omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial in fish. Nuts are also high in vitamins and minerals. They can also be high in calories and should be used in moderation.
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