Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) is the deadly and leading cause of global deaths, taking over 18 million lives every year. People at high risk of cardiovascular diseases need to invest in early detection and cholesterol management through lifestyle changes, counselling, and medication.
High Cholesterol And Heart Disease
Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) can lead to coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure. While cholesterol is an organic substance that’s necessary to build cells and make vitamins in the body, it can cause blockages from your arterial walls and put you at risk.
If you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol, that means you have high levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol) compared to your HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or “good cholesterol). High LDL levels can lead to plaque in your arteries that can lead to stroke or heart disease.
The easiest way to lower your LDL is through lifestyle changes and medication. You can change your diet today and give your arteries a fighting chance—what you eat has a powerful effect on your cholesterol and overall health.
Here are four healthy foods that can help lower your cholesterol:
A breakfast of oatmeal or oat bran is a fantastic way to start the day. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces the absorption of cholesterol in your bloodstream. This simple shift in your breakfast routine can lead to a 20% reduction in your LDL levels in just two weeks.
If your oatmeal bowl looks plain and unappetizing, the addition of some fruits will bring natural sweetness into the fold. The combination of oatmeal with apples, pears, bananas, and berries adds to your consumption of soluble fiber and will further reduce your bad cholesterol levels.
Drinking natural fruit juice any time of day can also reduce your risk for heart disease. Make sure you are purchasing juice made from natural ingredients, with no artificial sweeteners. Better yet, you can squeeze the fruit yourself or blend them in a smoothie!
Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds, are very nutrient-dense. They are rich in monounsaturated fats and amino acids that help regulate blood pressure and contribute tremendously to overall heart health.
Nuts also provide phytosterols that can block cholesterol absorption in the intestines. Minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium can also reduce blood pressure. A daily serving of 30g to 70g of nuts can decrease LDL levels, improve HDL levels, and even lower blood pressure.
If munching on a handful of nuts daily doesn’t sound appetizing to you, you can shake it up and put them on your leafy salad or consume around two tablespoons of nut butter instead.
4) Fatty Fish
The word “fat” has an undeservedly negative connotation in the food industry. The truth is, consuming ample amounts of healthy fat is necessary for your overall well-being. Specifically, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the fat found in your blood and lower your blood pressure.
Consuming at least two abundant servings of fish every week will contribute significantly to your overall heart health. Fatty fish rich in omega-3 you can add to your diet include salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, and herring.
Changing your diet is neither easy nor simple, but it’s definitely worth the effort. The key is to make the process as enjoyable as possible. Be creative when planning your meals—combine low cholesterol foods in interesting, fun ways so you can maintain these healthy habits. Remember to ask for a consult with your physician about your diet before making any drastic changes to your meal plans.
Heart health services at Pharmasave Summerside provide a wide range of advanced diagnostic tests and treatments. We can guide you in making healthy lifestyle choices to help prevent or slow the progression of heart disease. Our online pharmacy consulting services in Edmonton will deliver your medication to you in just a few easy steps. Contact us today!