If you are fighting high cholesterol, your doctor has probably told you to change your diet. But few people actually change the diet the way they need to change it.
The trick is to include lots and lots of cholesterol-lowering antioxidants that can only be found in vegetables and fruits. Both fruits and veggies are high in such antioxidants but low in calories, making them a great food for weight loss and balancing the level of cholesterol.
As you probably know, high cholesterol is often accompanied by obesity, so consuming these vegetables and fruits will solve both problems. Let’s get to the list.
Arguably one of the best sources of lycopene, tomatoes help your body fight off cholesterol even before it reaches your artery walls.
Known primary for their cancer-preventing properties, the edible red fruit is also very effective in your battle with cholesterol.
You can consume them raw, add them to salads and sandwiches, or cook them in sauces to add to your pasta dish. Or if you are feeling lazy, simply buy a pack of tomato juice from the grocery store.
If you want to raise your HDL cholesterol, or what people refer to as “good cholesterol”, eating half onion per day is the way to start. They reduce blood pressure, and the sulfides that onions contain help with colon cancer.
Add the benefit for your cholesterol, and there is simply no reason why you shouldn’t consume half an onion per day. If you consume lots of meat, adding onions to your diet is a must, since they make the blood cells less sticky and reduce the risk of developing blood clots.
Cabbage is considered a superfood, thanks to its richness with powerful antioxidants. You can try different types of cabbage-like green, red and savoy, it doesn’t make a difference, they are all healthy.
The best way to maximize the potential of the cabbage is to consume it fresh or cook it by steaming. Some studies show that steamed cabbage is even better for your cholesterol.
For maximum results, make a cabbage salad with kale and garlic, add some brown sugar and sprinkle some orange juice.
Beans and lentils
Rich in fiber, beans and lentils are an excellent healthy source of fiber. Just for information, a half a cup of cooked beans contains 3.5 grams of fiber.
And in order to reduce your cholesterol levels, you need just 2 grams of soluble fiber per day. You can cook beans and lentils with rice, or add them to any salad.
Or, if you are feeling vegetarian, toss some beans and lentils in your pasta dish as an alternative to meat.
Soy is another food that is high in fiber, but also low in saturated fat, making it extremely useful asset in your cholesterol battle. Additionally, soy is the only plant only protein, meaning it can be used as a substitute to dairy products and meat.
Soybeans are an excellent addition to any salad, or you can even drink soy milk. Aside from fiber, soybeans are also rich in iron, calcium, vitamin B and many other antioxidants that reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol.
A very common citrus fruit, oranges are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber. Like other types of soluble fiber, pectin helps trap cholesterol and then flushes it out of your body. Without pectin, LDL cholesterol is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it can clog the arteries.
Just one orange per day provides your body with the recommended dose of soluble fiber, which is around 3 grams. Oranges also carry other health benefits for your body, as they are also rich in vitamin C, potassium, and folate.
One thing to note, though, eating oranges is the only way to get the pectin, as orange juice doesn’t provide as much.
A fruit popular for its usage in the wine industry, grapes are actually one of the healthiest fruits on the market. What makes grape special is quercetin, a compound that prevents bad cholesterol from clogging the arteries.
Grapes also contain a healthy dose of the compound pterostilbene, a compound that reduces cholesterol levels and fights triglycerides.
When you think of berries, blueberries are the healthiest and probably tastiest among them.
Blueberries are extremely high in antioxidants, more than any other food. All other berries, including raspberries, cranberries and strawberries are holding the second spot.
Blueberries also contain the compound pterostilbene, which we mentioned as a healthy compound of grapes.
Grapefruit and Avocado
Both grapefruit and avocado contain glutathione, one of the oxidants that help the body fight free radicals. Additionally, avocado is a high protein and nutrient food, making it an ideal breakfast food.