High cholesterol is a problem that arises when there is a high amount of fat in the blood which is caused due to lack of exercise, obesity, eating fatty food, and drinking alcohol. Thus, dietary and lifestyle changes make a huge difference. There are two types of cholesterol- LDL, also known as bad cholesterol, and HDL, the good cholesterol.
Changing your diet can lower your cholesterol and lower the fats floating through your bloodstream. LDL is the harmful cholesterol-carrying particle that contributes to artery-clogging atherosclerosis, a low-cholesterol diet will be the best solution.
Different foods lower cholesterol in different ways. Some may deliver soluble fibre, binding cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system, and helping the body get rid of it before it gets circulated. Few foods have polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL while few foods contain plant sterols and stanols, blocking the body from absorbing cholesterol.
Legumes or pulses are plant-based food items that contain fibre, proteins and minerals. These include beans, peas, and lentils. You can choose to replace the refined grains and processed meats in your diet with legumes to lower the LDL levels thus preventing heart disease. Research proves that about 100 grams of legumes per day can lower LDL cholesterol by an average of 6.6 mg/dl.
Avocados are exceptionally nutrient-dense fruit and they are rich in monounsaturated fats and fibre — nutrients that help lower bad cholesterol thus raising the HDL levels in the blood. Avocados have the a cholesterol-lowering effect.
Berries are fruits that are rich in soluble fibre thus helping lower cholesterol levels. It does so by helping your body get rid of cholesterol and stopping your liver from producing this compound. Other fruits that can help lower cholesterol include apples, grapes, citrus fruits, and strawberries due to the presence of a soluble fibre called pectin.
Dark chocolate mainly contains cocoa and as per the research by US NIH, dark chocolate and cocoa can lower LDL cholesterol. It also helps lower blood pressure and increases “good” HDL cholesterol. Cocoa also prevents the oxidation of LDL in the blood which results in heart diseases otherwise.
Garlic has been known for its health benefits and medicinal purposes for ages. It is a constant in the Indian household, though people do not know that it contains various powerful plant compounds including allicin. According to Healthline, allicin helps lower blood pressure in people along with lowering "bad” LDL cholesterol.