This Morning's Dr Chris discusses the signs of high cholesterol
Cholesterol is a double-edged sword. While a small amount of the waxy substances helps to build the structure of cell membranes and make hormones, high levels of “bad” cholesterol can spell bad news for your arteries.
Once your blood vessels house too much cholesterol, they can become clogged, increasing your risk of health problems, ranging from heart disease to strokes.
Fortunately, healthy dietary choices can help keep the waxy culprit in check.
Dr Sunni Patel, from Dish Dash Deets, shared with Express.co.uk the list of “best” foods for this job.
1. Oats and whole grains
Packed with soluble fibre, oats are scientifically proven to lower levels of “bad” cholesterol.
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“Whole grains like barley, quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat bread also provide fibre and nutrients that support heart health,” the doctor said.
2. Fatty fish
You might think that you need to stay away from fat completely when trying to lower your cholesterol, but not all fat is the same.
Dr Sunni said: “Cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
“Omega-3s have been shown to reduce triglyceride levels and lower the risk of heart disease.”
Similarly to fatty fish, the type of fats hidden in nuts can be heart-beneficial and improve your cholesterol levels.
However, the doctor noted that it’s important to consume foods like these in moderation.
From beans to lentils, legumes can offer a “nutritious substitute” for animal protein that is high in saturated fat – the type that increases your “bad” cholesterol.
5. Fruits and berries
Dr Sunni said fruits such as apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, and blueberries are rich in soluble fibre and antioxidants, which support heart health.
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Rich in fibre and other nutrients that can lower the waxy substance, vegetables are a staple of a cholesterol-lowering diet.
The doctor recommended opting for a variety, including broccoli, carrots, spinach, kale, and Brussels sprouts.
Thanks to their content of good monounsaturated fats, avocados can do two things for cholesterol.
The small creamy fruit can help raise “good” cholesterol levels while also lowering the “bad” kind.
8. Olive oil
Rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, olive oil represents a healthier alternative to saturated fats when cooking or in salad dressings, the doctor explained.
9. Soy products
From tofu to soy milk, soy products contain plant compounds called isoflavones, which can help slash “bad” cholesterol levels.
10. Dark chocolate
While biscuits and cakes are usually packed with butter which doesn’t spell good news for your cholesterol, dark chocolate in moderation can pose as a healthy treat.
Dr Sunni said: “Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70 percent or more) can provide antioxidants and flavonoids that may have a positive impact on heart health.”
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