Cholesterol Lowering Foods
(Part Two)

On the previous page we discussed the importance of cholesterol lowering foods such as fruits and vegetables in general and apples, carrots and grapefruit in particular.

In this article we'll consider:

  • Oatmeal
  • Barley
  • Beans
  • Soya beans
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Cranberries
  • Tea




Oatmeal

porridge and berries

You won't be surprised to hear that oatmeal porridge is one of the best cholesterol lowering foods. This is because the protein in oats is a good source of the amino acid L-arginine, from which your body produces nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide has many jobs to do in keeping your heart healthy, including reducing oxidation and inflammation.

Although arginine may help treat high blood pressure and other markers of heart disease, some research find it also helps reduce cholesterol.

In one study, 45 healthy elderly volunteers took either arginine supplement or a placebo for 2 weeks. Those taking the supplement showed significant drops in their total and LDL cholesterol levels, but those taking a placebo experimented no change.

By the way, you also find arginine in peanuts, pine nuts, black cumin, butternut squash, watermelon, pumpkin, sesame and soy.


Barley

barley soup

If you fancy something different for breakfast, why don't you try a porridge made with barley instead? Perhaps sprinkled with chopped nuts and cinnamon?

It's really delicious and it's good for lowering your cholesterol, too. In fact barley is one of the richest sources of beta-glucans, the plant component that is also in oatmeal and and has an exceptional cholesterol lowering power.

But a cup of barley can offer three times more beta-glucans than a cup of oatmeal.

I suggest you cook up a pot of barley once a week, so you can have some as a side dish at dinner, or make it into a lentil and barley soup, or use some for breakfast instead of oatmeal.


Beans

beans make delicious casseroles

Beans are among the best cholesterol lowering foods.

Most if not all edible bean varieties pack a double whammy in terms of cholesterol control, with their fibre and lecithin, a plant-based fat that - believe it or not - is used in milk chocolate to keep the milk and chocolate from separating.

It turns out that lecithin can help lower cholesterol. The two together - fibre and lecithin - are probably behind beans' amazing benefits when it comes to blood fats.

One study found that just 1 1/2 cups of dried lentils or kidney beans a day could slash cholesterol levels by a whopping 19%... read more about the healing power of beans on heart disease

Soya beans

edamame pods

Amongst the beans, soya deserves a special mention.

Many studies find that when soy protein is substituted for high-fat protein sources like most red meats, there is a huge decline in cholesterol levels.

One of the most palatable types of soy is edamame. You just steam or boil them for about 5 minutes, sprinkle them with salt and pop them out of the pod into your mouth.

But let me warn you - they can be addictive, although that is not a bad thing considering that they are one of the best cholesterol lowering foods.

Dark chocolate

dark chocolate

You don't immediately associate chocolate with cholesterol lowering foods and in fact, it doesn't lower cholesterol per se, but it will help prevent oxidation of those cholesterol molecules that turn an otherwise innocuous compound into a biological dirty bomb.

That's because dark chocolate (and it must be dark to be healthfully helpful) packs a powerful wallop of antioxidants, which neutralize nasty free radicals.

One study found that supplementing a typical American diet with 0.5 oz./15 grams of dark chocolate and about 0.75 oz./ 20 grams of cocoa powder was all it took to reduce LDL oxidation.

Cinnamon

cinnamon powder and sticks

The cinnamon that you can sprinkle on your porridge has its own cholesterol-reducing benefits.

About 1/2 tablespoon a day slashed LDL cholesterol levels by nearly a third in one study, cutting total cholesterol by 26%.

Try putting a sprinkling of cinnamon in your coffee before brewing.

It also makes a pretty good tea, either on its own or with fenugreek.



Cranberries

cranberries

This fruit is good for more than just preventing urinary tract infections, but they're also very good at lowering cholesterol.

Not only are cranberries (and cranberry juice) one of the best sources of antioxidants around but they also yield extracted chemicals that can increase the amount of cholesterol your liver takes out of your bloodstream.

Once in the liver, that cholesterol can be processed for removal from your body.


Tea

cup of tea

A discussion about cholesterol lowering foods wouldn't be complete without mentioning tea - black or green - it doesn't seem to matter, either can lower your cholesterol.

Aim for about 5 cups a day; a government study found that after 3 weeks of drinking this amount, total cholesterol dropped by 6.5% and LDL cholesterol by 11.1%.



For some more cholesterol lowering foods look at Page 1

...or go to Causes of High Cholesterol


RELATED ARTICLES:

Healing Foods for Heart Disease

The High Blood Pressure Diet

Anti Stroke Diet

The Best Anti Atherosclerosis Diet


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Articles in this series:


What Are the Causes of High Cholesterol? Can Food Affect it?

Foods That Help Lower Cholesterol - Part 1

Cholesterol Lowering Foods - Part 2

RELATED ARTICLES:

Healing Foods for Heart Disease

The High Blood Pressure Diet

Anti Stroke Diet

The Best Anti Atherosclerosis Diet




Products that Can Help Lower Cholesterol


Extra Strong Garlic Supplement


Antarctic Krill Oil - is even more powerful than fish oil in preventing and treating heart disease





Further Reading on Healing Foods for Heart Disease: