Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the body which is vital for normal bodily function. There are two types – LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) and HDL (‘good’ cholesterol). Too much ‘bad’ cholesterol can increase the risk of serious health problems, such as narrowing of the arteries, heart attack and stroke. But high cholesterol levels can be lowered by making some simple changes to what you eat.
Nutritionist Rob Hobson has revealed seven foods you can eat to help lower cholesterol
Nutritionist Rob Hobson revealed to Express.co.uk seven foods you can eat to help lower cholesterol.
Oats contain a type of fibre called soluble fibre and this combines with cholesterol in the gut and removes it from the body.
He advised: “You can add oats to your diet by using them as a topping for breakfast cereals or you can use them to make nice healthy flapjacks and healthy snacks.”
Beans, pulses and lentils
These are foods that are high in soluble fibre, again, which helps remove cholesterol from the body, explained Rob.
“These foods are really versatile and you can use them in salads or you can just chuck them into every day dishes like bolognese sauce or curries.”
Rob said: “There’s loads of research how nuts can help to reduce cholesterol, particularly around walnuts, peanuts and almonds.
“So these contain vitamin E which can also affect cholesterol.”
Extra virgin olive oil
This is like the original heart health food, said Rob.
“This food contains monounsaturated fats that help to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.
“And you can add extra virgin olive oil to loads of dishes or use it as your regular cooking oil.”
Not everybody’s favourite food but soy has been shown to reduce cholesterol – 25g of soy protein a day can reduce cholesterol by 5 per cent, according to the nutritionist.
He explained: “Now you can easily add soy into your diet by swapping your regular milk for soy milk or eating foods like tofu.”
Plant sterols are found in milks and some of the yoghurt shot drinks, but you can also find them as supplements.
Rob said: “If you include two to three grams of plant sterols a day this can improve your cholesterol levels by 10 per cent over four weeks according to research.”
Apples, grapes and berries
Again, this is all about fibre to help reduce cholesterol, Rob advised.
“They contain a type of soluble fibre called pectin, which again, binds with cholesterol in the gut and helps to remove it from the body.
“It’s really easy to add these foods into your diet and including them as your five a day is good for all other areas of your health.”
There are other supplements that can help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol.
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