FOODS TO FIGHT CHOLESTEROL

Foods that fight cholesterol often have high amounts of dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Most of these nutrients can be found in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, which should already be included in your daily diet. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is called “good cholesterol” because it removes excess cholesterol from your arteries and sends it to your liver for disposal. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), you should consume four to five servings of vegetables and fruits daily to maintain your cholesterol HDL level.
Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber consists of two different types of fiber: insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber promotes movement in your intestines, relieving constipation and other bowel disorders. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can find insoluble fiber in wheat bran, whole-wheat flour, dark and leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. Soluble fiber breaks down in water and changes into a gel, which helps lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad cholesterol.” Soluble fibers take longer to digest, which makes you feel full longer, therefore causing you to eat less. You can find this nutrient in oranges, apples, barley, oatmeal, carrots and legumes.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart due to their cholesterol-lowering qualities. According to “Controlling Cholesterol for Dummies,” these polyunsaturated fatty acids prevent triglycerides, chemical forms of fat, from converting excess calories into fat by lowering triglyceride levels in your body. Omega-3 fatty acids are also high in HDL. You can find Omega-3 fatty acids in fish, especially salmon, albacore tuna, herring and trout.
Monounsaturated Fats
Whole milk, red meat, eggs, butter and some margarines contain saturated fats and trans fats. Monounsaturated fat, meanwhile, is unsaturated fat that does not increase your LDL. In fact, according to the AHA, monounsaturated fat may lower your cholesterol when used as a replacement for saturated fat and trans fat. You can find monounsaturated fat in fish, nuts and vegetable oils, but limit consumption to 25 to 35 percent of your caloric intake.






The Super Heart-Healthy Diet!

Eating a special diet called the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan can help protect your heart. Following the DASH diet means eating foods that are low in fat, cholesterol and salt. The diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, which can help protect your heart. Beans, other low-fat sources of protein and certain types of fish also can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Limiting certain fats you eat also is important. Of the types of fat — saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fat — saturated fat and trans fat increase the risk of coronary artery disease by raising blood cholesterol levels.
Major sources of saturated fat include:
Red meat
Dairy products
Coconut and palm oils

Sources of trans fat include:
Deep-fried fast foods
Bakery products
Packaged snack foods
Margarines
Crackers

Heart-healthy eating isn’t all about cutting back, though. Most people need to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet — with a goal of five to 10 servings a day. Eating that many fruits and vegetables can not only help prevent heart disease, but also may help prevent cancer.
Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, may decrease your risk of heart attack, protect against irregular heartbeats and lower blood pressure. Some fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are a good natural source of omega-3s. Omega-3s are present in smaller amounts in flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil and canola oil, and they can also be found in supplements.
Following a heart-healthy diet also means drinking alcohol only in moderation — no more than two drinks a day for men, and one a day for women. At that moderate level, alcohol can have a protective effect on your heart.