Eating too much saturated fat can lead to a range of health issues and send your cholesterol levels sky high. Cholesterol is found in your bloodstream and in every cell in your body. It aids in producing hormones, vitamin D, bile acids and cell membranes. High cholesterol levels increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
However, when trying to lower your cholesterol you shouldn’t cut out fat. Instead, eat more unsaturated fats over the bad saturated stuff.
A wondrous super food packed with lots of goodness, avocados are one of the most nutrient dense foods you can find. Avocados provide a source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (good fats), and can help lower your cholesterol. Don’ just eat it in guacamole dips though- have it on toast, with salads and in sandwiches.
Another food that helps lower cholesterol is oat based foods such as oat bran and oatmeal. Why? They contain soluble fibre which excludes your low-density lipoprotein (stuff that gives you bad cholesterol). If you eat 1.5 cups of oatmeal each day, research shows you can lower your cholesterol by 5 to 8%.
Nuts are an ideal healthy snack, and certain nuts are especially good. Aim to eat around a handful of nuts a day containing a mixture of walnuts, almonds, pistachio, peanuts, hazelnuts and pecans. Make sure you stay away from those sneaky sugar and salt covered flavoured nuts, and remember that nuts are high in calories too. Despite containing ‘good’ fat, you shouldn’t eat too many.
When mixed into tasty meals, beans can delicious and are rich in soluble fibre. There’s lots of different types to choose from including kidney beans, butter beans, haricot beans and pinto beans. They are also super filling, meaning you stay fuller for longer.
5. Fatty fish
Fatty fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (the ‘good’ fats) which can help reduce your blood pressure.
Examples of fatty fish are mackerel, trout, salmon, tuna and sardines.
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