If someone suffers from high cholesterol, it means there is too much fatty substance known as cholesterol in the blood.
Over time, this can build up in blood vessels and cause blockages.
For this reason, high cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for medical emergencies such as stroke and heart attack.
There are several possible causes of high cholesterol, and diet is one of them.
Specifically, eating too much saturated fat can increase your cholesterol levels.
This includes foods such as fatty meats, cheese, butter, and ice cream.
However, certain foods can also lower cholesterol levels.
Registered dietitian Nicola Ludlam-Raine spoke to Express.co.uk to explain more.
She shared six foods that can help lower low-density lipoproteins, also known as “bad” cholesterol.
Plant and fungi-based proteins
Alternative proteins, such as the mycoprotein-based meat substitute Quorn, could be a heart-healthy alternative to fatty red meat, Nicola said.
“As a case in point, a recent study by Northumbria University found that taking Quorn protein for two weeks significantly lowered ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 12 per cent and total cholesterol by 7 per cent. ” he said. .
“Lean red meat works as part of a healthy, balanced diet and contains easily absorbed iron, B12, and protein.
“The government recommends that you consume no more than 70 grams of red meat per day (or 490 grams of red meat per week). This is equivalent to two to three servings of red meat each week. corresponds to.”
She recommended that increasing fiber intake is essential to combat high cholesterol.
“Foods rich in soluble fiber, such as oats, barley, beans, flaxseed, flaxseed, and lentils, can help lower LDL cholesterol by binding to cholesterol particles in the digestive system and removing them from the body.” she says.
Nicola advised getting more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
“Omega-3s, found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, can improve overall cholesterol (including triglycerides) and inflammation in the body by improving levels of high-density lipoprotein (“good”) cholesterol. helps reduce. This is to remove LDL cholesterol. ”
Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats makes a difference, she advised.
Nicola explained: “These are typically found in butter, coconut oil, and fried and processed foods. [saturated fats] May increase LDL cholesterol levels.
“Instead, choose unsaturated fats found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.”
Foods rich in antioxidants
“Berries, dark chocolate, and green tea contain antioxidants that prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and forming plaque in your arteries,” she says.
Nicola told Express.co.uk that walnuts and almonds are high in unsaturated fats, which may help lower LDL cholesterol.
She further adds, “Walnuts are the only tree nut that contains high amounts of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, which also provides protein, fiber, and vitamin E.”