High blood cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. A person can take steps to lower cholesterol naturally. This includes incorporating low-sugar and low-cholesterol foods into a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
A person’s diet can affect cholesterol levels. Making certain dietary changes can help a person lower their cholesterol, especially when they combine these dietary choices with other lifestyle adjustments and medications.
This article discusses some of the negative effects of cholesterol and provides some recipes that can help lower cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a fatty wax-like substance produced naturally by the liver. Despite its bad reputation, cholesterol is actually good for you
However, if a person’s cholesterol level becomes too high, it can cause serious health problems. Too much cholesterol can clog arteries, restricting or blocking blood flow. When this happens, it can lead to heart attack, stroke and other complications.
LDL cholesterol is what people commonly refer to as “bad” cholesterol. Although LDL plays an important role in the body, too much can lead to clogged arteries and increase a person’s risk of heart disease. HDL, which many people describe as “good” cholesterol, can help remove LDL cholesterol.
The human body naturally produces both forms of cholesterol.
A person’s diet can affect cholesterol levels to some extent. So much
- lean protein
- whole grain
- liquid fat such as olive oil
A person should avoid eating certain foods such as:
- foods high in saturated fat, including full-fat dairy products, butter, and fatty cuts of red meat
- processed foods
- foods high in added sugar
Sugar and cholesterol
Therefore, anyone watching their cholesterol should discuss their sugar intake with their doctor. They should also consider their fat intake.
It is important to note that no type of food is inherently good or bad for a person as long as they consume certain foods in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Anyone who is concerned about their cholesterol levels should talk to their doctor about getting a cholesterol test called a lipid profile.
People who want to manage or lower their cholesterol can search for suitable recipes online. They can also try the recipes below.
This avocado dip uses simple ingredients including:
- juice of half a lemon or lime
- 2 medium ripe avocados
- 1 medium ripe tomato chopped flesh
- a quarter of a small onion, finely chopped
- half a red chili, seeded and finely chopped
- chopped cilantro
To take a dip, a person must do the following:
- Remove the skin and pit from each avocado.
- Roughly mash the pulp.
- Add all other ingredients and mix well with a spoon.
- Serve with crusty bread, toasted pita, whole wheat toast or chopped vegetables.
This recipe is:
- 147 calories
- 14 grams (g) of total fat
- 2.9g saturated fat
- 1.6 g of sugar
- small amounts of salt
Steamed green beans with garlic
Steamed green beans are an easy side dish and are a good source of vegetables. They are high in fiber and provide some protein.
To make steamed green beans, a person needs:
- 1 pound (lb) green beans
- 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic
- optional black pepper
A person can prepare steamed green beans as follows:
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Cut off the ends of the green beans.
- Carefully add the beans to the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Drain the water, press in the garlic cloves and mix.
- Sprinkle with black pepper if desired.
That amount of green beans provides such a diet:
- 141 calories
- 12 g of dietary fiber
- 8.3 g of protein
- 4.7 milligrams (mg) of iron
- 957 mg of potassium
Apple slices and peanut butter
A sliced apple with peanut butter as a dip or spread is a quick and easy snack that can keep a person’s cholesterol in check. To make this snack, a person needs:
- a medium-sized apple of the desired variety
- 2 tablespoons (tablespoons) of natural peanut butter
It’s important to use natural peanut butter for this recipe because they usually have less or no added sugar. Many brands of peanut butter contain added sugar, making them less suitable for those trying to manage their weight and cholesterol.
To make apples and peanut butter, one should:
- Wash the apple thoroughly.
- Carefully cut the apple into slices.
- Measure out 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and place on a plate or small bowl.
- about 95 calories
- about 4 g of fiber
- several vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C and folic acid
- 190 calories
- 16 g of fat
- 3 g of dietary fiber
One does not necessarily need to follow specialized prescriptions to notice changes in cholesterol levels. Instead, they can make a few simple changes to their favorite recipes.
Some changes that might help
- using olive oil as a substitute for butter or margarine
- eating meat-free at least once a week
- as a substitute for red meat using leaner animal proteins such as chicken breast or fish
- before cooking or eating chicken skin
- using whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and other whole-grain substitutes for high-grain meals
- add more vegetables to the recipe
- using pureed fruits or vegetables instead of fat in baked goods
- selection of lean cuts of meat
- if possible, use water for frying instead of additional oil or butter
- use more spices and herbs for flavor
Proper nutrition can have a positive effect on a person’s cholesterol level. Such a diet will limit sugar and focus on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, liquid fats and fiber.
People can choose from many recipes that are both healthy and delicious. One can also make simple substitutions in favorite dishes to help lower cholesterol.