High blood cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. A person can take steps to lower their cholesterol naturally. These include incorporating low-sugar and low-cholesterol meals into a balanced, nutritious diet.
A person’s diet can affect their cholesterol levels. Making some changes in what they eat can help a person lower their cholesterol levels, especially when they combine these food choices with other lifestyle changes and medications.
This article discusses some of the negative effects of cholesterol and lists some recipes that can help lower cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance that the liver produces naturally. Despite its bad reputation, cholesterol actually serves
However, if a person’s cholesterol levels get too high, it can potentially cause serious health problems. Too much cholesterol can clog the arteries, restricting or blocking blood flow. When this happens, it can lead to heart attack, stroke, and other complications.
LDL cholesterol is the kind people commonly refer to as “bad” cholesterol. Although LDL plays an important role in the body, excessive levels can clog arteries and increase the risk of heart disease. HDL, which many people describe as “good” cholesterol, can help remove LDL cholesterol.
A person’s body naturally produces both forms of cholesterol.
A person’s diet can affect their cholesterol levels to some degree. Both
- lean proteins
- whole grain
- liquid fats, such as olive oil
A person should avoid certain foods, such as:
- foods high in saturated fats, including full-fat dairy, butter, and fatty red meats
- processed foods
- foods with a lot of added sugars
Sugar and cholesterol
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Therefore, it is recommended that anyone watching their cholesterol levels discuss their sugar intake with a doctor. They should also consider their dietary fat intake.
It is important to note that no food type is inherently good or bad for a person as long as they consume certain foods in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Anyone concerned about their cholesterol levels should talk to a doctor about getting a cholesterol test, also known as a lipid profile.
People who want to control or lower their cholesterol can search online for suitable recipes. They can also try the recipes below.
This avocado dip uses simple ingredients, including:
- the juice of half a lemon or lime
- 2 medium ripe avocados
- the chopped flesh of 1 medium ripe tomato
- a quarter of a small onion, finely chopped
- half a red chili pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
- chopped coriander
To make the dip, a person must follow these steps:
- Remove the skin and pit from each avocado.
- Roughly mash the flesh.
- Add all other ingredients and mix thoroughly with a spoon.
- Serve with crusty bread, toasted pita bread, whole wheat toast, or chopped vegetables.
This recipe contains:
- 147 calories
- 14 grams (g) total fat
- 2.9g saturated fat
- 1.6 g sugars
- traces of salt
Steamed green beans with garlic
Steamed green beans are an easy side dish, making them a good source of vegetables. They are high in fiber and contain some protein.
To make steamed green beans, a person will need:
- 1 pound (lb) green beans
- 1-2 cloves fresh garlic
- optional black pepper
A person can prepare steamed green beans as follows:
- Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
- Cut the ends of the green beans.
- Carefully place the beans in the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Drain the water, squeeze in the garlic cloves and mix.
- Sprinkle over some black pepper if desired.
This amount of green beans provides the following nutrition:
- 141 calories
- 12 g dietary fiber
- 8.3g protein
- 4.7 milligrams (mg) iron
- 957mg potassium
Apple slices and peanut butter
A sliced apple with peanut butter as a dip or spread is a quick, easy snack that can keep a person’s cholesterol levels within the required range. To make this snack, a person will need:
- a medium-sized apple of their favorite variety
- 2 tablespoons (tbsp) natural peanut butter
It’s important to use a natural peanut butter for this recipe, as they usually have less or no added sugars. Many brands of peanut butter contain added sugars, making them a less suitable choice for someone looking to manage their weight and cholesterol.
To make apples and peanut butter, a person must:
- Wash the apple thoroughly.
- Carefully slice the apple.
- Measure out 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and place on a plate or small bowl.
- about 95 calories
- about 4 g fiber
- various vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C and folate
the peanut butter
- 190 calories
- 16 g fat
- 3 g dietary fiber
A person does not necessarily have to follow specialized recipes to notice changes in their cholesterol levels. Instead, they can probably make some simple changes to their favorite recipes.
Some changes that may help
- use olive oil as a substitute for butter or margarine
- make meat-free at least one meal a week
- using a lean animal protein, such as chicken breast or fish, as a substitute for red meat
- remove the skin from chicken before cooking or eating it
- use whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and other whole-wheat substitutes in grain-rich dishes
- adding more vegetables to a recipe
- use pureed vegetables or fruit for frying instead of fats
- select lean cuts of meat
- use water for cooking instead of extra oil or butter whenever possible
- use more spices and herbs to add flavor
An adapted diet 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 a huge range of recipes that are both healthy and delicious. A person can also make simple substitutions when making their favorite meals to help lower their cholesterol levels.