These foods lower your high LDL cholesterol for a healthier life

According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol increase your risk for both heart disease and stroke.

Also known as bad cholesterol, LDL cholesterol can build up around blood vessels in what’s known as “plaque.” This plaque is what makes bad cholesterol such a health hazard. Fortunately, there are ways to both lower and prevent high levels of bad cholesterol, avoiding potentially deadly health risks. While regular exercise is integral to lowering bad cholesterol, the foods you eat can also have a huge effect on your LDL cholesterol levels.

Fish and poultry

To lower bad cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends limiting red meat consumption in favor of eating more fish and poultry. Ultimately, when it comes to eating meat, the most important step is to lower your overall saturated fat intake.

“Fish can be fatty or lean, but it’s still low in saturated fat,” the association reported. “Eat at least 8 ounces of unfried fish each week. Choose oily fish such as salmon, trout and herring, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Prepare fish baked, broiled, grilled or boiled instead of breaded and fried, and with no added salt, saturated fat or trans fat. Non-fried fish and shellfish, such as shrimp, crab and lobster, are low in saturated fat and are a healthy alternative to many cuts of meat and poultry.”

Nuts, beans, whole grains and fruits

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute created the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) program to promote an LDL-cholesterol-lowering diet. The institute not only warned about the dangers of consuming too many saturated fats, but also reported that the plant stanols in nuts and the soluble fiber in beans, fruits and whole grains can actively lower bad cholesterol.

“To further help lower cholesterol levels, the TLC diet recommends adding soluble fiber and plant stanols and sterols to daily meals,” the institute reported. “Soluble fiber prevents cholesterol and fats from being absorbed through the intestinal walls into the bloodstream. Like soluble fiber, plant stanols and sterols help block the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive tract, which helps lower LDL cholesterol.”

These foods lower your high LDL cholesterol for a healthier life

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