A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best tools to keep a healthy heart, and it’s not as hard as you may think! Phyllis Holmes, RD recommends four categories of foods that help lower “bad” cholesterol and provide long-term benefits to your health and heart.
Found in oats, barley, beans and certain vegetables such as okra and eggplant, it helps bind cholesterol in your digestive tract and sweep it out of your body.
How to do it: Try oatmeal or a psyllium rich cereal, bean and barley soups, bean salad, hummus, black bean burritos & roasted eggplant.
With little or no saturated fat, it provides protein, fiber, “good” fats, vitamins and minerals.
How to do it: go meatless at least once a week, opting for soy-based products instead such as soy sausage, burgers, franks, cold cuts, and chicken patties, Snack on soy nuts and edamame or fresh soybeans.
Compounds typically extracted from soy-beans or certain vegetables-so similar to the structure to cholesterol that they “compete” in our intestines. That means less of the real cholesterol absorbed.
How to do it: Look for sterol-fortified products- including margarine-type spreads and some brands of orange juice, yogurt, cheese, salad dressings, granola bars and chocolate.
A handful of nuts will provide cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fat, plant sterols, fiber and Vit E, an antioxidant.
How to do it: Snack on a variety of nuts, including walnuts, which are rich in Omega fatty acids.