Cholesterol Lowering Foods You Need

How High Is Your Cholesterol?

The need for cholesterol lowering foods is important for those of us who are overweight or have a history of heart related problems.  

Or, you may have simply had your cholesterol measured by a physician or doctor and been told that it is a little on the high side and needs to come down.

Cholesterol is in fact a steroid and it is made in our liver from fats.  

We normally associate cholesterol as being a bad thing to have in our body, but we actually need it to help perform some essential bodily functions.

Why Do I Need Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is needed:

  • For manufacturing vitamin D and the hormones oestrogen and testosterone
  • As a component of the brain and nervous system
  • As a lubricant for our arteries

You have heard of good cholesterol and so called bad cholesterol, and it is important to keep our levels of bad cholesterol to a minimum. 

What are cholesterol lowering foods?

The following cholesterol lowering foods are provide our diet with soluble fibre:

cholesterol lowering foods
  • Wholemeal breads
  • Rye bread
  • Granary bread
  • Porridge oats
  • Cereals containing bran
  • Fresh fruit, including bananas, apples and pears
  • Dried fruit, such as apricots, prunes and figs
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Beans, including broad beans, kidney beans and beaked beans
  • Vegetables including mange tout and sweetcorn

When looking for a lower cholesterol diet, it is important to limit or reduce our intake of foods that are high in cholesterol.  Generally these are foods high in saturated fat and should be limited in our diets anyway for many health reasons.  Reducing foods that are high in saturated fat should be part of a heart healthy diet plan

A high cholesterol food list contains:

  • Animal meat, especially red meat
  • Meat based products such as pates and pies
  • Milk and dairy products such as cheese, full fat cream and butter
  • Biscuits
  • Cakes
  • Pastry based foods

Other sources of cholesterol to consider:

  • Eggs - these have a high source of cholesterol in the yolk, but eggs contain a healthy and much needed source of protein, required for growth and repair.
  • Seafood, such as lobster, shrimps and crab - these contain good sources of essential fat, needed for brain and nervous system functions.

It can be argued that these are sources of high cholesterol but contain low levels of saturated fat, and therefore are not all bad.  At the end of the day...

It all depends on the individual - that is you!

When you have your cholesterol measured (preferably by a professional medical practitioner) it is important to consider several things before making assumptions about the results.

For example a high cholesterol reading in a young fit individual with no family history of heart disease or other underlying medical conditions could be deemed acceptable compared to the same reading for an overweight individual who leads an inactive lifestyle, or has previous medical history of heart problems.

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