Top 5 Foods That Lower Cholesterol

Top 5 Foods That Lower Cholesterol


How to reduce excess cholesterol?

The blood cholesterol level is determined by the endogenous production (70% TOT, by the liver ) and by the one ingested with food (30% TOT).

Diet and physical activity are the two winning ways to improve cholesterol levels; by combining both, an improvement in lifestyle is obtained which determines:

  • Reduction of total cholesterolemia
  • Reduction of bad cholesterol ( LDL )
  • Increased good cholesterol (HDL) consequently decreases cardiovascular riskThe best strategy to reduce cholesterol (although it is a lipid) is not a hypolipidic diet. The effectiveness of diet therapy for cholesterol is based on the preference for unsaturated fats (up to 18-23% of the total) and the simultaneous reduction of saturated fats (maximum 7% of the total); in this way it is possible to intervene from the metabolic point of view on the excess cholesterol levels in the blood .Furthermore, by lowering the amount of dietary cholesterol (<200 mg/day) and increasing the amount of fiber associated with plant sterols /stanols, it is possible to obtain a cholesterol-lowering effect by reducing intestinal absorption.Note : If you are overweight or obese, cholesterol reduction will benefit more from a LOW-calorie diet aimed at reducing overall weight and excess fat mass .

    Did you know that…

    We must also not forget that the biosynthesis of cholesterol is modulated by its concentration in the cell , stimulated in turn by insulin and inversely proportional to the quantity taken in with the diet. High intracellular levels of cholesterol inhibit the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme, blocking its synthesis and controlling the cholesterol content of the body (about 150 g).

    Cholesterol Fighting Foods

    5 Best Cholesterol Fighting Foods

    Cholesterol – lowering foods fall into 5 groups ; they are:

    • Rich in dietary fiber
    • Rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) essential (AGE) omega 3
    • Rich in PUFA-AGE omega 6
    • Rich in omega 9 PUFAs
    • Addition of plant sterols and/or stanols.

    Group of foods with dietary fiber

    The fiber allows to reduce the absorption of dietary cholesterol and also the reabsorption of bile acids poured from the gallbladder (in turn rich in endogenous cholesterol ); ultimately, by simply increasing the amount of dietary fiber it is possible to reduce total cholesterolemia. Nonetheless, the fermentation of intestinal fibers determines the release and absorption of propionic acid , which acts on the hepatic endogenous production of cholesterol by decreasing it.

    Foods with dietary fiber are plant foods, therefore: vegetables , fruit, cereals (especially whole grains ), legumes and mushrooms; the fibrous component that has a major impact on cholesterolemia is the “soluble” one and the daily amount of dietary fiber introduced with the diet should amount to about 30 g (soluble + insoluble).

    A food particularly indicated in the control of cholesterol is oat bran ; if consumed every day, being rich in both soluble fiber (15.4 g per 100 g of product) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (2.8 g per 100 g of product), it effectively intervenes in the reduction of LDL cholesterol. The daily portion (possibly replaceable with wholemeal oats ) is about 40 g, best if eaten at breakfast and accompanied by a cup of soy milk .

    Group of foods with omega 3

    Foods rich in omega 3 improve the metabolism of all lipids transported in the blood, from cholesterol (although the specific effects have been confirmed and denied several times in the many studies in this regard) to triglycerides ; moreover, they contribute to reducing cardiovascular risk also thanks to their anti- thrombotic , anti-inflammatory and hypotensive function. The omega 3 family includes:

    • Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) or 18:3-omega 3, mainly contained in foods of vegetable origin (soy , flax , walnut , kiwi , etc.)
    • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 20:5-omega 3, mainly contained in foods of animal origin (oils and meat of blue fish and those belonging to cold seas)
    • Docosahexanoic acid (DHA) 22:6-omega 3 (again, oils and meats from blue fish and those belonging to cold seas).

    Group of foods with omega 6

    Foods rich in omega 6 also improve the metabolism of endogenous cholesterol ; omega 6 fatty acids have the ability to reduce total cholesterol but without discrimination between LDL and HDL. The omega 6 family includes:

    1. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) or 18:3- omega 6
    2. Diomo-gamma- linoleic acid (DGLA) or 20:3- omega 6
    3. Arachidonic acid (AA) or 20:4- omega 6.

    All essential omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids are mainly contained in seeds and dried fruit ( walnuts , almonds , hazelnuts , sunflower seeds , peanuts , pistachios , pumpkin seeds , etc.), in seed oils , in dried fruit oils and in legumes. The desirable amount of dried fruit in the diet would be a few tens of grams (max 40), however, since these are foods with a high caloric and lipid density, it is still advisable to balance the diet by eliminating other foods rich in fat ( perhaps saturated) such as more seasoned cheeses , sausages , etc., and paying greater attention to the dosage of the dressing oil.

    Group of foods with omega 9

    Foods rich in omega 9 selectively intervene on cholesterolemia by reducing only LDL and triglycerides ( VLDL ), maintaining intact or even increasing the portion of circulating HDL; omega 9 fatty acids ( non- essential PUFA) are mainly contained in olives and virgin olive oil . From a practical point of view, it is recommended not to exceed 2-3 tablespoons of virgin olive oil a day to avoid the risk of excess calories and the percentage of lipids in the diet.

    Group of foods enriched with plant sterols and/or stanols

    Foods rich in plant sterols and stanols are fortified foods , therefore dietetic. Sterols and stanols (such as the phospholipid lecithin ) bind cholesterol (preferably in the presence of dietary fiber) and hinder its intestinal absorption; 2 milligrams (mg) per day of sterols and/or stanols (contained in about 2 supplemented dietary yoghurts or two glasses of orange juice of the same category) can reduce LDL cholesterol up to 10% of the total while maintaining the HDL fraction intact .

    The best cholesterol-lowering supplements according to Amazon users

    Here is a selection of the most popular natural products on the e-commerce portal, among those capable of exerting a beneficial function against cholesterol.

    Cardiolip is a supplement produced by Balance that contains the maximum doses of riceRed Fermented (666.67mg), of which 10 mg of Monacolin K per tablet, the functional value recognized by the Ministry of Health for the reduction of sterols and lipids. It also contains a complex of synergistic ingredients: Coenzyme Q10, Milk Thistle, Astaxanthin, Policosanols, Shitake, Auricularia and Olive Leaves. The advanced formulation of Cardiolip, with 8 active ingredients, contributes to the maintenance of normal levels of saturated fatty acids and sterols. In Cardiolip there are only natural ingredients (not synthetic), it does not contain GMOs and artificial additives and is gluten and lactose free. It is produced in Italy in specialized structures and notified to the Ministry of Health.

    Natural Sprint is a supplement that contains nutritional yeast from red yeast rice . Among the ingredients, 100% natural and vegan, we also find 10mg of Monacolin K and coenzyme Q10, a powerful natural antioxidant against aging and tiredness . In addition, it improves muscle well-being, including the heart. The product is appreciated because it is easy to take and swallow. A daily dosage of one tablet a day with a glass of water is recommended. Natural Sprint is produced entirely in the company’s Italian plants through careful production processes and verification of raw materials.

    The composition of ArmoLIPID Plus is more varied , a supplement that also contains Berberis Aristata, which favors the control of plasma triglycerides as a supplement to a globally adequate diet for this purpose. The fermented red rice of the product contains monacolin k, which is involved in the metabolism of cholesterol and its activity is related to the administered dose. Policosanol, on the other hand, is a mixture of natural fatty alcohols contained in the waxy matrix of sugar cane, rice bran and beeswax. The package contains ‎60 units.



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