Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.
High cholesterol (especially LDL particles) can increase the risk of heart disease .
Low levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and high levels of triglycerides will also increase the risk .
Fortunately, the foods you eat can greatly affect cholesterol and other risk factors.
Here are 13 types of foods that help lower cholesterol and improve risk factors for heart disease.
Pea's tree is a group of plant foods including nut beans, peas and lentils.
Legumes contain a lot of fiber, minerals and one Abundant protein . Replacing some refined grains and processed meat with legumes in the diet can reduce the risk of heart disease.
A randomized controlled study showed that eating half a cup (118 ml) of beans a day was effective in lowering LDL cholesterol to an average of 6.6 mg / dl compared to not eating .
Other studies have shown that this food can help with weight loss, even in an unrestricted diet of calories .
Conclude: Legumes such as legumes, peas and lentils can help lower LDL levels and are a good source of plant proteins.
Butter is extremely fruit nutritious .
They are rich in monounsaturated fats and fiber - two nutrients that help lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol .
Clinical studies have also demonstrated the effectiveness of lowering cholesterol in butter .
In one study, overweight and obese adults had high levels of LDL cholesterol that ate one avocado each day, and as a result their LDL levels were lower than those who didn't eat butter .
An analysis of 10 studies has shown that eating butter instead of other fats can lead to lower total cholesterol, LDL and triglyceride cholesterol .
Conclude: Butter contains monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber, two nutrients that benefit the heart and reduce cholesterol.
3. Nuts, especially almonds and walnuts
Nuts are also a nutritious food.
They contain a lot of monounsaturated fats. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a polyunsaturated fat that is good for heart health .
Nuts also contain protein. This food is especially rich in L-arginine, an amino acid that helps produce nitric oxide, which helps regulate blood pressure .
Nuts also contain phytosterols. These plant compounds are similar in structure to cholesterol, which helps reduce cholesterol by preventing cholesterol from being absorbed in the intestine.
Calcium, magnesium and potassium is also included in this food. These minerals can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In a review of 25 studies, eating two to three servings of nuts per day could reduce LDL cholesterol to an average of 10.2 mg / dl .
Eating a piece of nuts every day can reduce the risk of fatal and non-fatal heart disease (28%). ).
Conclude: Nuts are high in fat and fiber helps reduce cholesterol, and minerals can improve cardiovascular health.
4. Fat fish
Omega-3 has the potential to improve cardiovascular health by increasing HDL cholesterol, reducing inflammation and stroke risk.
A large study monitored the health of young people for more than 25 years .
They found that people who ate non-fried fish had almost no risk of metabolic syndrome - a group of symptoms that included high blood pressure and low HDL levels .
Another large study among older people showed that people who ate tuna or other baked and boiled fish at least once a week had a 27% lower risk of stroke .
Note that the most healthy way to cook fish is to grill, boil or eat raw. Fried fish can actually do increase risk of heart disease and stroke .
Fish is a major component of Mediterranean diet . This diet is widely studied for the benefit of cardiovascular health .
Some cardiovascular protection benefits of fish may also come from some peptides in fish proteins .
Conclude: Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
5. Whole grains, especially oats and barley
An in-depth study has shown a link between whole grains with low risk of heart disease .
In fact, a review of 45 studies showed that eating 3 servings of cereal daily could reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The amount of cereal up to 7 servings a day is even more beneficial .
Whole grains are whole grains of all ingredients, thereby making them rich in vitamins, minerals, plant compounds and fiber than refined grains.
Although all whole grains can improve cardiovascular health, there are two types of cereals that excel at all:
- Oat: This cereal contains beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. Eat oats can reduce 5% total cholesterol and reduce 7% LDL cholesterol .
- Barley: Also contains a lot of beta-glucan and may help lower LDL cholesterol .
Conclude: Whole grains may reduce the risk of heart disease. Oats and barley contain beta-glucan, soluble fiber is very effective in reducing LDL cholesterol.
6. Fruits and berries
For some reason, fruit has become a food so it is good for the cardiovascular system.
Many fruits rich in soluble fiber, help reduce cholesterol .
These fibers work well by encouraging the body to remove cholesterol and inhibit cholesterol formation in the liver.
A type of soluble fiber called pectin has been shown to lower cholesterol by up to 10%. This substance is found in fruits such as apples, grapes, citrus fruits and strawberries .
Fruits also contain bioactive compounds that help prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Berries and grapes contain a lot of plant compounds, can help increase HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol .
Conclude: Fruits can help reduce cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. The main reason is due to fiber and antioxidants in fruits.
7. Dark chocolate and cocoa
Cocoa is the main ingredient in it black chocolate .
It seems incredible, but research supports the assumption that dark chocolate and cocoa may lower LDL cholesterol .
A study has shown promising results after healthy adults drink cocoa twice a day for a month.
These LDL cholesterol levels were reduced by 0.17 mmol / l (equivalent to 6.5 mg / dl). Their blood pressure also decreases and their HDL cholesterol levels rise .
Cocoa and dark chocolate seem to be able to protect LDL cholesterol from blood without oxidation, which is one of the main causes of heart disease .
However, remember that chocolate often has a high sugar content, negatively affecting cardiovascular health.
Therefore, you should use cocoa directly or choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 75-85% or higher.
Conclude: Flavonoids in chocolate and cocoa can help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, while increasing HDL cholesterol.
Garlic has been used in food and medicine for centuries .
It contains powerful plant compounds like allicin, the main active compound in garlic .
Many studies have shown a strong link between garlic and hypotension in people with high blood pressure. Other studies suggest that garlic can reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, although this effect is not as strong .
Since large amounts of garlic must be consumed in order to achieve cardiovascular benefits, most of the studies that have been conducted use functional foods.
Many studies have used functional foods from old garlic, which is considered more reliable than other garlic preparations .
Conclude: Garlic contains allicin and other plant compounds, which can help reduce LDL cholesterol and other heart disease risk factors.
9. Soy foods
Soy bean is a legume beneficial for cardiovascular.
Although the research results are inconsistent, the most recent research has produced positive conclusions.
An 2015 analysis of 35 studies showed that eating soy foods can reduce LDL and total cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol .
These foods appear to be more effective in people with high cholesterol.
Conclude: There is some evidence that soy foods can reduce the risk factors for heart disease, especially in people with high cholesterol.
Vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet.
These foods are high in fiber, low calorie antioxidants, which help maintain a healthy weight.
Some vegetables have particularly high levels of pectin, which is a soluble fiber that can reduce cholesterol also in apples and oranges .
Other pectin-rich vegetables are okra, eggplant, carrots and potatoes.
Vegetables also provide a variety of plant compounds. These plant compounds are linked to health benefits including protection against heart disease.
Conclude: Vegetables are high in fiber, antioxidants and low in calories, making them a healthy choice for the cardiovascular system.
Tea contains many plant compounds that help improve cardiovascular health.
Although green tea is more popular, black tea and white tea have similar effects on health.
These are two of the main compounds in tea that benefit:
- Catechin: Catechins can be good for the cardiovascular system in many ways. This substance helps activate nitric oxide - a very important substance for blood pressure. Catechin also inhibits the synthesis and absorption of cholesterol and helps prevent blood clots .
- Quercetin: Quercetin can improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation (33).
Most studies have shown that drinking tea can lead to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, but give conflicting conclusions about the effect of this substance on HDL cholesterol and blood pressure .
Conclude: Drinking tea can reduce cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
12. Dark green vegetables
Although all vegetables are good for the heart, dark green vegetables are especially more effective.
Vegetables are dark green like kale and spinach containing lutein and other carotenoids. These substances may help reduce the risk of heart disease .
Carotenoids act as antioxidants, removing harmful free radicals that can lead to atherosclerosis .
These vegetables can also lower cholesterol by binding to bile acids and causing more cholesterol to be excreted from the body .
A study has shown that lutein reduces oxidized LDL cholesterol and may help prevent cholesterol from sticking to the artery wall .
Conclude: Dark green leafy vegetables contain high levels of high quality carotenoids, including lutein, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
13. Pure olive oil
One of the The most important component t in a healthy Mediterranean diet is pure olive oil.
One study gave participants four tablespoons of olive oil every day, in addition to the Mediterranean diet.
The group of people using olive oil had a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular symptoms such as stroke and heart attack, compared with those who followed a low-fat diet .
That is the result of a 5-year intervention study in older people at risk for heart disease.
Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids that can increase HDL cholesterol levels and lower LDL cholesterol.
This is also a source of polyphenols, some of which have been shown to reduce inflammation causing heart disease .
Conclude: Olive oil is the main ingredient in a healthy Mediterranean diet. It contains monounsaturated fats and good heart antioxidants.
Things to remember
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Fortunately, you can reduce this risk by adding some food to your diet.
The 13 foods mentioned in this article all have research-based benefits to help you maintain low cholesterol levels and have a healthy heart.