Certain foods can help you lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which causes a buildup of plaque in the arteries that leads to heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. But what may surprise you is that many of these foods are delicious and easy to incorporate into your everyday meals without sacrificing flavor or fun.
Indulge a Little
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, antioxidants that help lower LDL levels. Just make sure to eat in moderation, as chocolate is also high in saturated fat and sugar. You can also use dark, unsweetened cocoa powder in your cooking to get similar heart-healthy effects.
There’s more to avocados than just guacamole. They give you oleic acid, which helps lower the bad cholesterol in your bloodstream. Try putting a few slices on your turkey sandwich, or add them to a salad. Avocado oil, which has a subtle, sweet flavor, can also be used in place of other oils in cooking.
Raise a Glass
Red wine contains resveratrol, a substance found in the red grape skin, which may prevent damage to blood vessels by reducing the risk of blood clots and lowering LDL. Drinking too much alcohol can cause a host of other health issues, however; so while a glass of red wine at dinner is fine, don’t overdo it.
Both black and green teas contain powerful antioxidants that may reduce cholesterol levels. Green tea typically contains more of these antioxidant powerhouses, as it is made from unfermented leaves and is less processed. Just go easy on the cream and sugar.
It’s not only about what you DON’T eat… but what you DO eat that makes all the difference. You may have been knocked down by your cholesterol results, but you don’t have to stay down!