The key to a healthy heart starts in the kitchen
By Venus Gentile
There are many ways to lower your cholesterol. The kind of foods you eat can play a major role in lowering it, along with other heart-healthy habits such as exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and staying away from smoking.
It is important that you integrate these foods into your daily diet and remain consistent with them.
Oatmeal & High Fiber Foods
Oatmeal has to be one of my favorite breakfast foods! Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad" cholesterol. Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream and is also found in such foods as kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes. I prefer the steel-cut oatmeal as it is low-glycemic and contains less carbohydrates than the other varieties. Adding fruit is a also great way to get more nutrients in!
These creamy fruits are full of heart-healthy goodness! Avocado's have become very trendy in the food world, but they are best known for their potent source of nutrients, as well as monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Replacing saturated fats, such as those found in meats, with MUFAs are part of what makes the Mediterranean diet heart healthy. An avocado a day can help improve LDL levels in people who are overweight or obese.
Eat your fish! Fatty fishes such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and tuna are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids. They can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish a week
Almonds, Walnuts and Tree Nuts
Tree nuts can improve blood cholesterol. Rich in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy. Eating about a handful a day of most nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachio nuts and walnuts, may reduce your risk of heart disease. Make sure the nuts you eat aren't salted or coated with sugar. Eating nuts in their raw form are best. Nuts are high in calories, so be careful to not overdo it!