The cholesterol It is one of the main health problems of the Spanish. Not in vain, 20% of people over 18 in Spain have a cholesterol level higher than 250 mg/dl, according to the study by the Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC), when healthy parameters tell us that there is what lower them to at least 200 mg/dl. This excess is determined by several factors, but one of the most decisive is the absence of an adequate diet, the abuse of animal fatssaturated fats and alcohol consumption.
Any treatment requires a change in lifestyle, as pointed out by the Spanish Heart Foundation. They encourage us from the organism to carry a healthy eating, reducing alcohol intake, quitting smoking, avoiding excess weight, and exercising. Lowering cholesterol with the help of diet forces us to change the shopping cart and give priority to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, oily fish, nuts and extra virgin oil, nutritious foods that increase cholesterol well (HDL).
In addition to being clear about what we should buy to keep cholesterol at bay, it is equally important to know what foods we should avoid. Thus, for example, those that contain abundant fats that are harmful to the heart, such as butter, fatty meats, sausages, ultra-processed products and industrial pastries. All of them should be removed from your shopping list or left only for very sporadic consumption. You also have to take into account the way of cooking, it is always preferable to change the fried ones for the oven, the iron, the steam or the grill.
1. Virgin olive oil
The olive oil It is made up of monounsaturated fatty acids and a large proportion of sterols, 176 milligrams per 100 grams, which have antithrombotic and cardioprotective effects against atherosclerosis. Its use helps reduce cholesterol, especially when used to replace other types of fats, such as butter. The head of the Endocrinology and Nutrition service at the Hospital de la Luz, Dr. María Luis de Mingo, explained to EL ESPAÑOL that the oil “also helps us to lower cholesterol evil or LDL“.
2. Oats, barley and other cereals
The oatmeal It is one of the cereals with the best nutritional profile, but we have to consume it in its whole form to obtain all its benefits. It is rich in protein, fiber, mineral unsaturated fats. has great action polyphenol antioxidant, and the plant sterols it contains help reduce cholesterol. Harvard University, in its list of foods that lower cholesterol, also recommends taking barley “to help reduce the risk of heart disease.”
At Harvard they highlight beans, but in Spain we are going to stay with the beans. Although we consume them to a lesser extent than our grandparents, according to the FEC we should include three weekly servings of legumes, looking especially at these in particular. In fact, beans are one of the foods with the highest proportion of plant sterols, about 76 milligrams per 100 grams, and it is a food with a low proportion of fats and a lot of soluble fiber It helps reduce cholesterol absorption.
Vegetables and vegetables They are great allies against cholesterol, which is why they are essential in any self-respecting healthy diet. The aubergine stands out for its high content of soluble fiber, about 2.4 grams per 100 grams, and plant sterols. It is a food with high amount of flavonoids They help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Although other dried fruits are also highly recommended, such as almonds, pistachios or hazelnuts, in this case we are going to stay with the nuts. A group of Spanish and American scientists have shown cardiovascular benefits in the walnut, without increasing the body weight or blood pressure of the subjects they studied. reduce triglycerides and cholesterol in blood The benefits of the nut lie in its fats, which account for 60% of the food and most of them are of high quality.
6. Strawberry, apple, grape and citrus
From Harvard they include these fruits in their list because they are high in fiber and help prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the digestive system. In addition, apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges are rich in pectins, a specific type of fiber that has the function of eliminating some substances that are harmful to our body such as LDL.
The blue Fish it is one of the foods with the best nutritional profile; in fact, it is the best known source of Omega-3 fatty acids. According to the FEC, this polyunsaturated fatty acid “acts by lowering the level of triglycerides, improving endothelial function and reducing inflammation and the risk of thrombosis.” Within the variety of fish, salmon is a good option because it contains a good proportion of fatty acids and is one of those with the lowest concentration of mercury.
It is the undisputed queen of salads and can be incorporated into the diet on a regular basis, practically every day. It is one of the foods with fewer calories and a higher proportion of water; in fact, it occupies 95% of its composition. In addition, they have more plant sterols than most fruits and vegetables, about 38 milligrams per 100 grams.
Different studies have shown its heart-healthy benefits. In the magazine Journal of the American Heart Association point out that continued consumption can reduce cholesterol by about 5%, a figure that can be increased if supplemented with other plant-based foods.
You may also like
Cholesterol: the seven foods that best help reduce it according to Harvard University
This is the best diet to lower blood cholesterol once and for all
13 recipes to lower cholesterol and prevent it from rising
Follow the topics that interest you