Globalization has brought about rapid changes in lifestyle and dietary habits. These changes have caused a rise in lifestyle-related diseases. These lifestyle-related diseases include obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, respiratory diseases and cancer. According to experts, lifestyle-related diseases including cardiovascular diseases are estimated to account for around 60% of all deaths in India. In India in 2016, CVDs contributed to 28·1% of total deaths. The risk factors for cardiovascular disease are family history, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, and inactivity.
There are two types of cholesterol, Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and High-density Lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. The LDL cholesterol is termed as bad cholesterol since it can collect in the walls of the arteries and raise the chances for heart health problems. HDL, or the “good” cholesterol, picks up excess LDL cholesterol and takes it back to your liver. It can then be excreted from the body. LDL Cholesterol is one of the two major lipoproteins, saturated fatty acids can raise LDL cholesterol and a high amount of this is harmful to our bodies.
Cholesterol is another substance that performs key functions in the body, however, an excess can be detrimental to health.
This is why it is vital to start making healthier decisions to lower LDL cholesterol levels in your blood. One way to do that is to maintain low cholesterol and a low saturated fat diet. We can better manage our blood cholesterol by making small changes to our diet. Certain cholesterol and saturated fat-lowering foods can be incorporated into our diet to reduce total and LDL cholesterol.
Cholesterol Reducing Foods List
- Oats and whole grains: Whole grains like barley, oats and whole wheat are all beneficial foods that can be incorporated into the diet. The reason it’s recommended to consume whole grains is due to their bran content. Every grain, like wheat, loses the bran in the milling process. Bran is the outer layer of the cereal grain. You can include bran in your diet or eat coarser flour like whole wheat. These grains contain soluble fibre, which possesses a lot of health benefits. By binding with cholesterol and eliminating it from the body, whole grains can be a part of the heart-healthy diet plan.
- Legumes and beans: Legumes and beans are yet another type of cholesterol-lowering food that is also a part of a heart-healthy food family. This group includes lentils, peas and beans like chickpeas, black-eyed peas and many others. In India, these foods are consumed with great relish! Consuming these food items means consuming lots of fibre, vitamins, minerals and proteins. Regular consumption of legumes and beans in adequate amounts helps lower LDL cholesterol.
- Avocados: Dietary fibre is essential, and they are available plentiful in whole grains, legumes, and beans. However, another food item to be included is avocados, which are rich in good fatty acids like monounsaturated fatty acids. Research has shown that Monounsaturated fatty acids are beneficial for heart health by not only lowering LDL cholesterol but might also raise HDL cholesterol. Replacing saturated fatty acids with monounsaturated fatty acids may be beneficial for heart health. A low-cholesterol diet could include avocado. Avocado is nature’s plant/vegan “butter”; you can make guacamole out of it and even have avocado toast if you desire.
- Fruits and berries: Fruits and berries represent nature’s bounties. They are excellent because they are readily available to many and also because they are great as a snack. Fruits and berries are essential components of a balanced diet and are rich in fibre and various vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds. They are also a heart-healthy food group and consist of antioxidants which can reduce inflammation. They lower LDL cholesterol and give the body various other benefits as well.
- A healthy cooking oil: Oil makes up a major part of food preparation. You should choose the right kind of cooking oil which can help you maintain a healthier diet. Edible oil like Saffola Total is clinically proven to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. It contains oryzanol which helps keep your cholesterol in check! Its dual-seed technology helps you achieve a good balance of healthier fatty acids like MUFA and PUFA for better nutrition.
The foods suggested above are widely available to us. It is possible for just about anyone to get their hands on these foods and create heart-healthy diet plans low in sat fat, sodium and sugar. This will help keep your cholesterol in check and ensure you’re eating a variety of nutritious foods that will make you feel great!