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.






FATTY FISH LOWER CHOLESTEROL

If you’re worried about heart disease, eating one to two servings of fish a week could reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack.
For many years, the American Heart Association has recommended that people eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week. Doctors have long believed that the unsaturated fats in fish, called omega-3 fatty acids, are the nutrients that reduce the risk of dying of heart disease. However, more recent research suggests that other nutrients in fish or a combination of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients in fish may actually be responsible for the health benefits from fish.
Some people are concerned that mercury or other contaminants in fish may outweigh its heart-healthy benefits. However, when it comes to a healthier heart, the benefits of eating fish usually outweigh the possible risks of exposure to contaminants. Find out how to balance these concerns with adding a healthy amount of fish to your diet.