Certain foods can help bring down high cholesterol levels naturally, without the potentially dangerous side effects of statin medications.
"By increasing your intake of soluble fiber you can significantly lower your blood cholesterol levels," Gabe Mirkin, M.D., author of The Healthy Heart Miracle, tells Newsmax Health.
In fact, some people are able to reduce or eliminate statins by changing their diet.
Here are six super foods that can drive down blood cholesterol:
1. Oats. Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal or cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios. Look for oat cereals with 1-2 grams of soluble fiber per serving.
Add a sliced banana for even more heart-healthy fiber.
"Soluble fiber passes into your colon where bacteria break it down to form short chain fatty acids that help block the formation of LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, the 'bad' cholesterol which can cause arterial damage," says Dr. Mirkin.
2. Beans. They are also rich in soluble fiber and take long to digest so you feel fuller, longer. So they're an excellent choice if you're looking to lose weight. There are many choices—from navy, garbanzo, lentils, black-eyed peas and beyond.
3. Nuts. Studies have shown that eating just 2 ounces of nuts daily can lower LDL. Although 80 percent of the calories in nuts come from fat, it's unsaturated fat, which helps lower LDL levels, decreases risk of blood clots and improves the lining of your arteries. Walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts are three excellent choices.
4. Foods fortified with sterols. Sterols and stanols are plant extracts that help prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol from food. Foods commonly supplemented with serols include granola bars and yogurt.
5. Fatty fish. Eating at least two servings of salmon, trout, mackerel or other cold water fish has many heart-healthy benefits.
Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that drive LDL down and boost the HDL or high-density lipoprotein often referred to as "good" cholesterol.
Omega-3 fatty acids also help prevent inflammation that can lead to dangerous plaque buildup in arteries.
6. Garlic. UCLA cardiologist Dr. Matthew Budoff has conducted exhaustive research on the heart-boosting benefits of garlic.
"My studies have shown that garlic lowers cholesterol, reduces the risk of blood clotting, reduces the buildup of plaque, and, in some cases, even reverses plaque buildup," he says.
Budoff recommends taking aged garlic extract supplements.
For the original article, visit newsmaxhealth.com.
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