Diet To Reduce Cholesterol
Cholesterol Lowering Diet Plan (Part 2)
5. Reduce Intake of Sodium
There is a clear link between high sodium intake and high blood pressure. It is the sodium in the salt that contributes to elevated blood pressure. Most people eat many times the amount of salt we need. The recommended maximum is 6 grams of salt per day, (about one teaspoon) - the equivalent of 2,400 milligrams of sodium - although dietitians believe that we actually need only 1 gram.
- Eat a diet of predominately fresh instead
of processed food
6. Eat Plenty of Fruit and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables typically contain zero cholesterol, are very low in fat and low in calories. By eating fruits as a snack or for dessert, and by eating vegetables as snacks and side dishes, you can increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber and lower your intake of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol.
In fact, there is clear evidence that eating a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease. Exactly why fruit and vegetables have this beneficial effect is not known. It may be due to the antioxidants (vitamins and other substances) in the fruit and vegetables. Antioxidants prevent 'oxidation', the chemical process which allows cholesterol to form atherosclerosis (narrowing of arteries). There is no evidence that vitamin supplements have the same health benefits.
In addition, fruit and vegetables are typically rich in potassium, a mineral which may help to regulate blood pressure and prevent irregular heart rhythms. Fruit and green vegetables are also rich in folate (folic acid). This reduces the blood level of a substance called homocysteine, which itself may be a risk factor for heart disease. More research is required to find out whether eating more folate will, by itself, reduce the risk of heart disease.
7. Eat Plenty of High Fiber Whole Grains and Beans
Breads, cereals, pasta, rice, dried peas and beans (legumes) are useful sources of healthy carbohydrates and are low in saturated fat. In addition, the soluble fiber found in foods such as oat and barley bran and in some dried beans can reduce blood cholesterol levels.
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