If you are battling high cholesterol or you want to be proactive, then you already know the potential dangers of high cholesterol. There are two classifications of cholesterol. There is low density cholesterol (LDL), which is commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol and there is high density cholesterol (HDL), which you will hear referred to “good” cholesterol. As you can imagine, the LDL type is what you want to watch out for, because that’s the one that increases your risk of heart attack or stroke.
It’s a common misconception that in order to reduce high cholesterol and be healthy you have to radically alter your lifestyle by cutting out all of the delicious foods you’re used to. While you should stay away from artery-cloggers like foods heavy in saturated oils, you can make small but significant changes to your daily diet that make getting a handle on your cholesterol super easy. If you use portion control by eating more of the good stuff and less of the bad while substituting what you can for equally yummy but less LDL filled foods, you’ll be on your way to great heart health. To help you get started, here are some artery cleansing foods you should be eating.
Fish is always high on the list of artery cleansing foods because of those great omega-3 fatty acids. You can choose from different types of fish such as tuna, salmon, or halibut so if you don’t like one type, there’s bound to be another one you will enjoy. The omega-3 acids work to increase blood flow and lower bad cholesterol. If you don’t like fish at all, don’t despair! Omega-3 acids are equally helpful in soybeans or flaxseeds.
Good ‘ol veggies will be your best friends when trying to cleanse away bad cholesterol. The ones to pay particular attention to are the vegetables with fiber such as tomatoes, avocado, garlic, corn, and spinach as this type of fiber prevents you from absorbing as much cholesterol into your system. So throw some tomatoes onto your lunch sandwich, or substitute your mayo for an avocado spread – delicious!
Another staple of a healthy diet, fruit is great for cleansing your arteries. You’ll want to grab as many berries as you can (doesn’t matter what kind!) as these delicious treats have powerful antioxidants. Certain fruits also have those helpful fibers, so pick up some oranges, apples, or grapefruits the next time you go to the store. Adding a fruit to at least one of your daily meals is a small but important change that can impact your cholesterol level.
Oils typically aren’t the best choice when trying to cleanse your arteries, but some are significantly better than others. Olive oil, for instance, particularly extra-virgin olive oil, is a source for monosaturated fat (the good kind!) and is a good source of HDL. It helps to reduce LDL and it’s got Vitamin E. So the next time a recipe calls for oil, grab the olive oil out of the cupboard whenever you can. You can even use it for flavoring on anything that you would normally put butter on, such as dinner rolls or cooked veggies. Of course mixed with balsamic vinegar, you’ve got a healthful and delicious way to enhance your salad.
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