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High cholesterol can come from a variety of things: family history, a lack of inactivity, smoking or other existing health issues–but mainly it has to do with what you eat. And those who have a diet that is high in fats are normally more susceptible to experiencing high cholesterol. So the question is, what is it about these fats that make our cholesterol rise? And more importantly, are there foods that lower cholesterol? Let’s discuss.
Foods That Lower Cholesterol Contain Good Fats
The truth is, we need fats. They assist with nutrient absorption, cell membrane integrity, nerve transmission and much more. However, when we consume an excess amount of it we can easily gain weight, be more prone to heart disease and develop certain forms of cancer. And it’s important to remember that not all fats are created equal. Some promote health while others lead to sickness and disease. That’s why it’s essential to replace bad fats with good fats. Let’s take a moment to identify each.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lower cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and turn solid when chilled. Polyunsaturated oils are also liquid at room temperature and are usually found in foods such as nuts and seeds, and their oils.
Saturated fats raise blood cholesterol. They can be found in animal products such as dairy, meat, and eggs. There are also some plant foods that are high in saturated fats such as palm oil, coconut oil, and palm kernel oil. Trans fats were created in order to “hydrogenate” liquid oils so that they could better withstand the food production process and have a longer shelf life. These types of facts can be found in commercially packaged foods such as French Fries, Microwaved popcorn, and hard stick margarine.
6 Foods That Lower Cholesterol
Now that we know that bad fats are the culprit let’s take a moment to discuss which foods contain the highest amount of good fats. The following list contains food that can actually help to lower the cholesterol.
Avocado is very different from most fruits. They are loaded with fats, even more so than animal foods.
However, avocados are composed of mostly monounsaturated fat–particularly one that is known as oleic acid . Not only is this fruit one of the foods that lower cholesterol, but is also one of the best forms of potassium.
2. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are rich in good fats and have been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease as well as high cholesterol. Try foods like salmon, trout, tuna , and Atlantic mackerel . Eating fish that is baked, grilled or broiled at least twice a week can do your heart a world of good.
3. Canola Oil
Canola oil is a healthy fat that is a great alternative for those who are interested in lowering their cholesterol. Swap out the butter and margarine with a little canola oil when you’re baking or cooking, You may also consider adding it to your salad dressing.
A diet that’s rich in the monounsaturated fats found in nuts can be just as effective as a low-fat diet. People who eat them regularly have less heart disease than those who don’t. The monounsaturated fats they contain are better for your joints than the fats found in safflower oils and corn.
Not only does peanut butter make for good sandwiches and dips, but it is also a very healthy alternative to options that are much higher in saturated fats such as certain lunch meats and salad dressings. Consider mixing it with a little plain Greek yogurt and then freezing it in order to create a frozen yogurt treat.
Making the healthiest choices doesn’t always mean cutting back on the amount of food you consume; sometimes it simply means swapping out a few things. And if you would like to lower your cholesterol, then it’s essential that you start eating good fats in place of the bad ones. Stocking up on Mono and polyunsaturated fats can change your life for the better.