Wednesday, June 10, 2009

lower cholesterol with food

Lower Cholesterol - Add These Natural Foods to your Diet

Author: Albert Lee

If you want to lower and maintain your cholesterol level, the best thing for you to do is to turn to a natural diet. It's simple, convenient and best of all, available in large quantities.

By simply reducing the amount of processed foods in your diet, you can significantly lower your blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Here are some of the sources of natural foods to add to your diet and help lower your cholesterol:

1. Fiber

Some of the best sources of fiber are found in whole grains, cereals and oatmeal. For a natural diet, choose unprocessed grains and wheat bran for more roughage and high fiber content. Fiber is effective in lowering cholesterol levels and keeping your intestines from absorbing too much fat and sugar.

How much to get: a cup of natural fiber is enough to help lower your cholesterol level by about 5%. Go for cereals that contain oats, psyllium, flaxseed or whole grains.

2. Soy

Soy is another food product that can be easily integrated into your daily diet to lower your cholesterol. While some soy products undergo processing, they retain the healthful qualities that make soy a favorite among heart-watchers.

The reason is probably because of naturally-occurring compounds known as isoflavones, which have been shown to regulate the levels of cholesterol in the body. A study conducted in 1998 showed that isoflavones helped lower cholesterol levels from 5% to 10%.

How much to get: a natural diet to lower cholesterol should contain at least 25g of soy protein daily. Soy protein can be found in soy milk, tofu, tempeh and soy meat substitutes.

3. Fish

Fish contain a type of good fat known as Omega-3 fatty acids. These keep the blood from clotting, making sure that blood flow is smooth and healthy. Omega-3s are also known for keeping blood fat levels low.

How much to get: serve broiled, baked or grilled fish at least 3 times a week. It's also a good idea to substitute fish for other animal protein meals when dining out to keep your natural diet low in cholesterol. Choose fatty fish such as albacore, sardines, herring and salmon and serve baked, grilled or steamed.

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