10 Tips for Lowering Your Cholesterol Through Diet

High cholesterol is a major problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 100 million adults have higher than normal cholesterol levels. Over a quarter (35 million) have high enough cholesterol levels to put them at serious risk for heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Prevention and early intervention are the best ways to protect yourself and ensure you continue to enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle. The good news is you can manage your cholesterol through your diet. 

Our medical team at RevaMed Primary Care Associates in Greenacres and Boynton Beach, Florida offers comprehensive care and services for your health and wellness needs. We can help lower your cholesterol through lifestyle changes alone, like your diet.

Why high cholesterol is bad for you

While our bodies need cholesterol for healthy cell function, too much of it can lead to a buildup of fatty deposits in blood vessels. This makes it difficult for the blood to flow through. In addition to clogging your arteries, fatty deposits can also lead to blood clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes.

What you can do to lower your cholesterol levels 

Some people are more likely to develop high cholesterol due to family history and genetics. But an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle are usually the main culprits. This is good news because it means you can take control of your health and manage your heart disease and stroke risk. All you have to do is make a few simple changes to your diet. Depending on your situation, our doctors may also recommend medication to help control your cholesterol levels. 

How diet can keep you healthy 

When it comes to lowering your bad cholesterol (LDL) and boosting the good cholesterol (HDL) through diet, eating enough soluble fiber is the name of the game. Soluble fiber helps flush the cholesterol you don’t need out of your body. 

The right foods can also provide polyunsaturated fats and plant compounds known as stanols and sterols, which help prevent LDL buildup in the body. Luckily, there are a number of delicious food choices available where you won’t feel deprived. 

Here are a few diet tips you should consider following to lower your cholesterol: 

Eat enough soluble fiber 

Soluble fiber helps reduce the “bad” cholesterol in your body. Beans, legumes, flax, citrus fruits, whole grain oats, bran, and barley are great options!

Spice things up 

Spices are rich in antioxidants and good for your heart. When possible, cook with herbs and spices like garlic, ginger, and turmeric

Cook with unsaturated vegetable-based oils 

You might think you should avoid fat when you’re trying to lower your cholesterol, but that’s not always an effective option. Instead, use unsaturated oils like canola, sunflower, and safflower.

Eat more (fatty) fish 

Fish contain cholesterol but are also high in omega-3 fatty acids which can help manage your cholesterol. Introducing salmon, albacore tuna, and trout into your diet can help you stay healthy. 

Go nuts

Add almonds, peanuts, walnuts, and other nuts to your daily diet. Nuts have protein, fiber, and essential vitamins to help lower your cholesterol. 

Eat like the greeks

The Mediterranean diet continues to top heart-healthy diet lists because of its effectiveness. In this diet, you consume vegetables, whole grains, beans, fruits, nuts, and some high fats. 

Tea up 

Studies have shown that among the numerous health benefits of drinking green tea, it may also help to lower LDL levels

Avoid processed sugars 

Say no to processed sugar! Get your sweet fix from fruits like grapes, berries, bananas, and apples.

Load up on veggies 

Potatoes, carrots, eggplant, okra, and other veggies can help raise the amount of “good” cholesterol in your body to maintain your health. 

Treat yourself to that avocado toast 

On whole wheat bread or pita, of course! Avocado is fat but healthy fat and good for you in moderation. 

The importance of a healthy lifestyle  

When coupled with healthy lifestyle factors like regular exercise, keeping your stress in check, and getting regular preventive care and screenings, your diet can make all the difference in your cholesterol levels and overall health. 

For more information about your prevention and treatment options for high cholesterol, contact RevaMed Primary Care Associates today. You can visit us online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nathalie Bastien-Montpeirous or Dr. Sandhya Menon.

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