Millions of prescriptions for cholesterol are filled each year in America. Did you know that you can lower your cholesterol naturally through your diet without taking medication?
I’ve had family members who have cholesterol issues, and a grandfather that died of heart failure. I’ve seen the devastating effects of improperly taking care of your heart.
The food we’re putting in our mouth directly impacts the cholesterol that we have, high or low. In this blog, I’m going to break down the 6 food groups that won’t raise your cholesterol and 3 that you should stay away from.
Best Foods For High Cholesterol
When you’re thinking about eating produce, you should try to eat different colored fruits and vegetables to give your diet variety.
Eating produce is going to add more water, fiber, and minerals into the system which will help lower cholesterol levels.
Leafy greens contain fiber that will help keep you feeling full regularly between meals.
They can also help to lower your blood sugar levels and prevent bad cholesterol from entering the bloodstream.
These foods are superfoods when it comes to reducing cholesterol in your body:
- Garlic – Garlic is highly nutritious and has cholesterol-supporting properties that can potentially reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Turmeric – The root of turmeric is high in quercetin. Quercetin is proven by studies to be a powerhouse when it comes to lowering inflammation and cholesterol in the body.
- Grape Seed Extract – Grape seed extract stops the oxidation of cholesterol, which can cause fatty plaque inside of your arteries.
All of these cholesterol superfoods can be in my Cholesterol Support supplement.
Cholesterol by itself is not the problem. Your liver creates it. 75% of the cholesterol inside of you right now was made by you.
If the cholesterol in your body gets exposed to free radicals, it oxidizes and can create fatty plaque inside of the arteries.
Clean Meats and Oils
Rancid meats and oils increase the amount of cholesterol inside of your body. Conventional meat increases the inflammation in your body, which increases the cholesterol in your system.
Instead, I recommend these cleaner variations of meat:
- Beef – Grass Fed
- Chicken – Free Range
- Fish – Wild Caught
These are going to give you a good ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s, which will reduce the amount of inflammation in the body.
Something like a burger from McDonald’s is going to be a 20:1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s. When the animal that you get your food from is sick and inflamed, you will become sick and inflamed.
Your ratio of omega-6s and omega-3s should be closer to 1:1 if you want to reduce inflammation.
You should also stay away from rancid oils that will clog up your system, which include:
- Vegetable Oils
- Cotton Seed Oil
- Soybean Oil
High Fiber Protein
Beans are an excellent source of protein and are very high in fiber. Good sources of protein rich beans include:
- Black beans
- Garbanzo beans
- Kidney beans
They also support the heart through magnesium, which is great for your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Nuts and Seeds
Chia and flax seeds are great sources for better cholesterol levels. They contain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which raises your HDL (good cholesterol), and have fiber that lowers your LDL (bad cholesterol).
Foods to Avoid
Trans Fats and PUFA (Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids)
Trans fats can be found in common foods such as:
- Packaged goods
- Processed foods
- Fried foods
You will find trans fats in pre-made foods, at the supermarket, fairs, or fast food restaurants.
We know fried foods are not good for the heart. The ones that haven’t been talked about or highlighted enough are PUFAs, which include:
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Soybean oil
- Generic vegetable oil
- Cotton seed oil
- Peanut oil
All of these increase inflammation in the system. They’ve been shown to make your cholesterol worse.
Carbs and Sugar
Too many carbs and sugars can raise cholesterol and triglycerides (fat) in your liver.
They also oxidate our cholesterol, which then causes damage in the arteries, leading to artery hardening and plaquing.
Sugar is a massive culprit because it is a free radical inside the body and significantly taxes the liver.
All grains turn to sugar seconds after they hit your mouth, which can raise your blood sugar levels. Common examples of these grains include:
These grains are stripped of their nutrients and fiber. This removes the cholesterol-lowering effect you would have gotten from them.
They’re also sprayed with pesticides that damage the gut and create inflammation, which can also raise cholesterol levels.
If you’re looking for the benefit of something like oatmeal, you can try beta-glucan.
Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber that prevents the body from absorbing cholesterol from food. There is beta-glucan in oatmeal, which is why it works so well when it comes to reducing cholesterol.
You can find this in my Greens powder, which can be mixed easily into any drink.
The biggest mistake that I see people make with their cholesterol is that they don’t understand their numbers. They just take their doctor’s word for it or think their high cholesterol number is the only number to be looking at. That couldn’t be further from the truth.