For any celebration, the star is always the sumptuous and lavish buffet spread. Everything that could possible tickle your taste buds can be found: most tender lechon, the tastiest salpicao, richest paella, freshest shrimps and crabs, smoothest leche flan, the list could go on and on. But too much of a good thing is not necessarily good for you, especially when cholesterol is already an issue.
Here is a guide of the food and supplements that could help lower cholesterol. Look at it as a secret list that could help you get through any celebration without getting into any health troubles. Following a suggested two-pronged strategy from Harvard Health to take in food that lowers LDL, “the harmful cholesterol-carrying particle that contributes to artery-clogging atherosclerosis,” and cut back on foods that boost LDL may just be the kind of holiday plan you need to keep in mind.
OATS. Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal, add in a banana or fruit for flavor. One bowl of oatmeal can provide 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber, to add to the daily recommended level of 20 to 35 grams per day.
OKRA. This overlooked vegetable is low in fat and calories, and contains potassium and calcium. It is a good source of soluble fiber which is beneficial in lowering cholesterol. Soluble fiber has the ability to bind itself to cholesterol so that it can be pushed out with other wastes.
EGGPLANT. The flesh of an eggplant is rich in soluble fiber, making it preferred food to help in bringing down cholesterol levels. Research indicates that eating eggplant may bring down cholesterol by as much as 30 percent.
FATTY FISH. The regular intake of fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, as a replacement for meat, which contains LDL-boosting saturated fats, or even as a part of your weekly menu is beneficial as it has LDL-lowering omega-3 fats.
FIBER SUPPLEMENTS. Bulk-forming laxatives which contain psyllium can also be made part of the diet, as this offers another way to get soluble fiber.
LEGUMES [Beans, peas and lentils]. This group of plant foods has plenty of fiber, minerals and protein, and using any of them as substitute for refined grains and processed meats would be good for the body.
AVOCADOS. Described as one of the most nutrient-dense fruits, avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fats and fiber, both of which have been found to lower bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol.
FRUITS. Pectin is one type of soluble fibre that is found in apples, grapes, citrus fruits and strawberries. Soluble fibers are good for bringing cholesterol levels down as they work by “encouraging your body to get rid of cholesterol and stopping your liver from producing this compound”.
DARK CHOCOLATE and COCOA. Research has shown that regular intake of a cocoa beverage on a daily basis can lead to reduced levels of bad LDL cholesterol. In addition, cocoa and dark chocolate have been found to protect bad cholesterol from oxidation which may cause heart disease.
GARLIC. Two to four fresh cloves of garlic added to the food you eat can contribute to lessening bad cholesterol. What garlic does is to “stop artery-clogging plaque at its earliest stage by keeping cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls.”
These 10 foods and supplement are part of a bigger list of confirmed items that work wonders in the fight against bad cholesterol. Keep this list in mind as you enjoy the fun and frolic of the season. Stay well, stay healthy.