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Cholesterol Lowering Foods

Cholesterol Lowering Foods

High cholesterol is caused by a diet that is high in saturated fats and cholesterol found in meat and dairy, and in trans fats that come from fried foods. The good news is that, if high cholesterol comes from diet, it can also be solved by diet.

Include these cholesterol lowering foods in your diet and keep your heart healthy.

What is high cholesterol?

High blood cholesterol is a condition in which you have high levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood. The condition usually presents no symptoms. The only way to find out whether you have high cholesterol is through a blood test. However, high cholesterol leads to coronary heart disease, a condition in which substances from your blood stack up in your arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow naturally.

High cholesterol is caused by a diet that is high in saturated fats and cholesterol found in meat and dairy, and in trans fats that come from fried foods.
The good news is that, if high cholesterol comes from diet, it can also be solved by diet.

What are cholesterol lowering foods?

The following foods can help lower your cholesterol and prevent heart disease.

  • High-fiber foods

High-fiber foods, such as oatmeal, apples, pears, and prunes, contain soluble fiber, which decreases the concentration of cholesterol in your blood. For example, you can try eating oatmeal with your milk for breakfast instead of eggs or a cheese sandwich.

  • Fish

Fatty fish contains omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your blood pressure and your heart. Note that the fish should be baked or grilled, not fried, so as not to add unhealthy fats to your meal.

  • Nuts

Nuts, such as walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, and almonds contain polyunsaturated fat and keep your blood cholesterol under control. However, nuts are also high in calories, so only eat about 40 grams per day, and make sure they are raw or baked. If you don’t particularly like the taste, you can mix them in with a salad.

  • Olive oil

Olive oil is also high in calories, so 2 tablespoons per day are enough. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and can lower your LDL levels. You can use olive oil as a dressing to a salad or in a sandwich or on vegetables with your meal.

  • Other recommendations

In addition to adding these healthy foods to your diet, you should also reduce the amount of cholesterol and fat-rich foods in your diet, stay active, and if you smoke, quit and try not to be around smokers to avoid secondhand smoke.

Author Info

Dr Nagi Safa

Dr Nagi Safa is a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeon (Weight-Loss Surgeon) at the Advanced BMI in Lebanon and at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, and holds an academic appointment at the University of Montreal. Furthermore, he is involved in the training of residents and surgical fellows on how to perform advanced laparoscopic obesity surgery. In 2010, he launched the Advanced Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (Advanced BMI) in Lebanon, and has been helping hundreds of patients from all over the Middle-East through his expertise in obesity surgery. Education: Dr Safa completed his residency training at the University of Montreal General Surgery Program. He then performed a fellowship in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and Minimal Invasive Surgery (Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery), at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, which is the largest Weight Loss Surgery center in the Montreal area, and one of the busiest in Canada. Experience: During his training, and throughout his practice, Dr Safa performed more than one thousand laparoscopic procedures, including Roux en Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding, gastric plication and many other abdominal surgery procedures. He has a particular interest in LaparoscopicRevisional Surgery including banding, bypass and sleeve. With a keen interest in the advancement of obesity surgery and newer minimally invasive surgical techniques, Dr Safa gained experience in the single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), and offers Single Incision gastric banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery. Research: His current research interests include clinical outcomes from various bariatric surgery procedures and investigations on the impact of bariatric surgery on Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome X. Memberships: Dr Safa holds professional memberships with the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons, Canadian Association of General Surgeons, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Association for Surgical Oncology, Quebec Medical Association, Trauma Association of Canada, Association Quebecoise de Chirurgie, International College of Surgeon, and the College des Medecins du Quebec.