Nearly everyone could stand to be a little healthier. Whether that means getting some more exercise, eating healthier, or just increasing your water intake, we can all improve. If you suffer from high cholesterol, then you really need to get your diet in order (before you try using potentially dangerous statin drugs). Here are 7 foods that are not only delicious, but can also help keep your cholesterol levels under control.
Salmon is one of the best meats you can possibly eat. But try to avoid the farm-raised variety. Wild salmon is high in omega-3s which can help reduce your blood pressure. Keep in mind that its packed with protein as well making it a well balanced main dish. Other fishes like mackerel, herring, tuna, and anchovies are great for lowering cholesterol too.
Broccoli falls into the family of cruciferous veggies. Others of this variety are cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, brussel sprouts, and kale; all of which are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and nutrients that your body needs. The high fiber content will allow your body to get rid of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Beans are an often overlooked super food (if we can still use that tired phrase). Black beans, red, beans, kidney beans, lentils, and basically all the others, are high in protein, high in fiber, and are a cheap way to help fill you up and keep you full. If you are suffering from Parkinsons disease, you may want to increase the number of fava beans in your diet to increase the dopamine levels in your system). Stay away from the processed beans like refried, they are often made with bacon grease.
What exactly are whole grains? They are those that havent been processed, like oats, wild rice, quinoa, barley, and wheat. They help absorb cholesterol and regulate insulin production. The fiber is great for keeping the system clean and fresh. Skip the white bread and processed junk, and opt for the whole grain varieties.
Grouped into the nut category are seeds like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Nuts and seeds are high in mono and polyunsaturated fats (the good kinds). They have a ton of protein, minerals, and of course fiber. If youre counting calories dont eat too many because you can end up going overboard with this category.
It may surprise you that a dairy product is on the list. But keep in mind that not all dairy is bad for you. The probiotics in yogurt (the good bacteria that aids in digestion) help your heart by getting rid of LDL cholesterol. Opt for the low-fat or fat free varieties, and go for Greek yogurt to get that boost in protein.
What would the list be without wine? Study after study has shown that a moderate intake of red wine (up to 6 ounces per day) can help you stay healthy. The alcohol speeds up your system helping flush toxins faster, and the anti-oxidants rid the body of free radicals. Keep in mind that wine has a lot of sugar, so more than a glass a day and youre going backward on your goal.
Maintaining a healthy level of cholesterol does not need to be hard. And if you take your time to prepare your meals at home, there is no reason that it should cost a lot too (even fast food is about twice as much as a healthier meal at home). If your goal for 2015 is to lower your cholesterol, here is your plan: Turn the TV off, incorporate these foods into your diet, and walk or jog for at least 30 minutes per day. You will be surprised at how quickly you get in shape.