3 Tips to lower your cholesterol
1. Eat foods with plant sterols and stanols:
Plant sterols and stanols are small components of plant membranes that are chemically similar to cholesterol. They ‘compete’ with dietary cholesterol, preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Two grams of plant sterols/stanols per day may lower your LDL (low-density lipoprotein or “bad”) cholesterol. Where can you get them?
- Margarine spreads made with esterified plant sterols or stanols: 1 tablespoon = 1 grams of plant sterols and stanols
- Orange juice with plant sterols: 1 cup = 1 gram of plant sterols
2. Eat 25-30 grams of fiber each day:
Believe it or not, 25 grams really isn’t that much fiber…and no you don’t have to eat sheets of tree bark or tasteless breakfast cereal to achieve it either! How to fit it in?
- Aim for 5 cups of fruits and veggies each day
- Eat a serving of beans (black, kidney, pinto, etc.) or lentils 3 or more times a week. I like to add beans to my tuna or egg salad, omelets, soups and salads.
- Eat 3 ounces of whole grain foods every day (1 slice of whole wheat bread; 1/2 cup oatmeal; 1/2 cup brown rice)
3. Go fish!
Twice a week, make it a goal to eat omega-3-rich fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines or trout.
When it comes down to it, the question isn’t ‘what do I have to give up?‘ but rather, ‘what can I start eating for better cholesterol and a healthier heart?‘ It’s much more empowering…don’t you think?