Come influisce il cibo sul colesterolo?
1. Olive oil
The type of heart-healthy fat found in olives and olive oil can increase your HDL and lower the inflammatory impact of LDL cholesterol on your body.
Swap extra-virgin olive oil for all your other oils and fats when cooking at low temperatures, as extra virgin olive oil breaks down at high temperatures. Use the oil in salad dressings, sauces, and to flavor foods once they’re cooked. Sprinkle chopped olives on salads or add them to soups, like this Sicilian Fish Soup. Just be sure to use this food in moderation because it’s high in calories too.
2. Beans and legumes
Like whole grains, beans and legumes are a great source of soluble fiber. Reach for black beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, navy beans, lentils, and others. Canned beans contain about half as much folate as cooked dry beans. Folate is an important B-vitamin that’s healthy for your heart.
Beans and legumes are great in side dishes, like in this Cajun Corn and Kidney Beans salad, or in soup, like this Italian Style White Bean and Kale Soup. You can also whip up this Spicy Southwestern Black Bean Chili during the week for an easy, family-friendly dinner.
3. Whole grains
Whole grains, including bran, cereals, and brown or wild rice may give your HDL levels a boost. That’s because they contain fiber, specifically soluble fiber.
Have at least two servings of whole grains per day. That could be as simple as a comforting bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, 100 percent whole-grain bread at lunch, and a side of brown rice at dinner.
4. High-fiber fruit
Fruits with a lot of fiber, such as prunes, apples, and pears, can boost your HDL levels and lower your LDL levels. Slice them up and stir them into cereal or oatmeal, or throw them into your blender and create a delicious smoothie. They’re just as great plain, too, either as a mid-afternoon snack or a treat after dinner.
5. Fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, can lower your LDL and increase your HDL. Look for fattier options, such as salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, sardines, and rainbow trout.
Aim for two servings of fish per week. If you don’t like fish or can’t eat enough fish to fulfill your omega-3 goals, ask your doctor about fish oil or krill oil supplements. These over-the-counter supplements can deliver more than 1,000 mg of omega-3-rich oil in each pill but still don’t deliver the same benefits as food itself.
Ground flaxseeds and flaxseed oil also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Many vegetarians use flaxseed as a source of omega-3 fatty acids because they’re one of the better plant-based sources of this heart-healthy fat.
Make sure to buy ground flaxseed. Whole flaxseeds are almost impossible for your body to break down, which means they pass through your body largely intact and never leave behind any of their nutrients.
Ground flaxseed can be sprinkled into your morning cereal, oatmeal, salads, dips, or yogurt, or added to baked goods. Flaxseed oil is a welcome addition to salad dressings or smoothies.
Nuts, including Brazil nuts, almonds, pistachios, peanuts, and others, are filled with heart-healthy fats. They’re also high in fiber and contain a substance called plant sterols. Plant sterols block the absorption of cholesterol in your body.
Eat an ounce or two for a snack or incorporate them into meals. Try this Banana and Walnut Smoothie for a nutritious breakfast, or Steam-Sautéed Green Beans with Almonds and Parsley for an easy, but elegant side dish. Just remember that if you’re watching your calories, keep your nut portions in check with a measuring cup or scale.
Chia seeds are a good source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and other healthy nutrients. Adding chia seeds to your diet may help increase HDL levels, lower LDL levels, and decrease blood pressure.
Like flaxseeds, chia seeds are great when added to cereal, oatmeal, dips, salads, yogurt, or smoothies. Unlike flaxseeds, however, chia seeds can develop a somewhat slimy texture when they’re wet due to mucilaginous properties. If that’s a problem for you, consume the chia immediately or try adding chia to your baked goods in place of eggs.
Today, because it’s growing in popularity, chia is available in many food products at the grocery store.
The food world’s new favorite fruit is also one of the healthiest. Avocados are high in folate, a healthy monounsaturated fat. This type of fat boosts HDL, lowers LDL, and reduces your risk for stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. They’re also filled with fiber, which naturally helps keep cholesterol in check.
Add slices of avocado to salads, soups, chilis, or sandwiches. Guacamole is a great option, too. Just be sure to reach for low-calorie dippers, like carrots, radishes, and tomatoes, instead of high-calorie, high-salt tortilla chips.
An alternative to meat, soy-based products aren’t just for vegetarians. Incorporating this food into your diet is a great way to reduce your meat consumption. When people eat less meat, their LDL levels will most likely decrease and their HDL levels will most likely increase. However, it’s possible that the positive benefit seen between soy and cholesterol levels is the result of eating less meat and eating more heart-healthy food and not because of soy specifically.
Steamed, unsalted edamame makes a great appetizer. This Edamame Spread is a healthier dip option for a party or gathering. Extra-firm tofu grills beautifully, and this Tofu Vegetable Kebab recipe will please even your meat-loving friends.
11. Red wine
Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, including red wine, has been shown to raise HDL levels. It’s also been shown to lower your risk of heart disease. A moderate amount of alcohol is defined as just one glass per day for women and two glasses per day for men.
However, red wine shouldn’t be consumed if you also have high triglycerides. If you don’t already drink, you shouldn’t start just for the heart-healthy benefits. Talk with your doctor about your drinking habits and whether they put you at an increased risk of any other condition.