Fruits That Help Lower Cholesterol is an important component of the cell membranes, however, high levels have negative effects on overall health. So, if you’re looking to live a longer life and avoid conditions like heart failure and stroke, you may want to consider adding some of these fruits! This guide will show you fruits that can help lower cholesterol naturally so you can stop worrying about controlling your cholesterol levels.
5 fruits to reduce your cholesterol levels and manage heart health
High cholesterol is linked to high risk of heart diseases. So, eat these 5 fruits to lower cholesterol and manage your cardiovascular health.
Your body needs cholesterol, a specific form of fat, to manufacture hormones, vitamins, and new cells. But having too much cholesterol can be harmful. Your risk of heart attack and stroke can increase over time if your blood contains an excessive amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol). In order to balance this, you should be aware of where it comes to your body. Actually, it has two sources: first, your liver produces it, and second, food. Therefore, eat these fruits to lower cholesterol if you struggle with high cholesterol levels.
Which fruits are good for people struggling with cholesterol issues?
To find out which fruits can help lower or control cholesterol levels, Health Shots got in touch with Delnaz Chanduwadia, chief dietitian and nutritionist, Jaslok Hospital.
Chanduwadia says that if your cholesterol is high, blame your unhealthy diet that is rich in refined foods, fried foods, sugar, processed foods, and low in fibre. Add to that lifestyle factors such as smoking, lack of exercise and having underlying conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. So, to control your cholesterol levels, you need to keep a check on all these causes. However, a healthy diet consisting of the right fruits which are high in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, is found to help manage cholesterol. ”
Here are 5 fruits to lower your cholesterol levels:
1. Fibre rich fruits
Consuming too many foods high in sodium and saturated fats can cause an imbalance in your cholesterol level. However, you might not be aware that soluble fibre-rich foods, which are heart-healthy, can help lower high cholesterol levels. Chanduwadia says, “Fruits are high in soluble fibre called pectin is known to help to reduce cholesterol. Fibre-rich foods that you can eat are apples and pears.” Moreover, fibre can also help lower blood pressure and can keep you fuller for longer, which can help you eat less and possibly lose weight.
Berries are a nutritious powerhouse. They offer a wealth of health advantages. They are also considered to be among the most delectable and versatile sources of phytonutrients. Due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, they are especially abundant in bioactive chemicals that are known to prevent heart disease and other chronic disorders. Just remember to eat them in moderation, According to Chanduwadia, “Berries aid to lower cholesterol and inflammation due to the antioxidants.”
According to the California Avocado Commission, eating avocados can help your body absorb other nutrients from your diet. They also have a lot of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which, among other things, are beneficial for the heart. Additionally, avocados may significantly manage both high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. So, enjoy them not only for your beauty but also for your heart health!
Who doesn’t love this mushy, sweet fruit that is impossible to resist? Bananas are not only versatile and easy to eat fruit, but they are also a wonderful superfood because they are full of fibre, necessary vitamins and minerals, as well as natural sugars like sucrose, fructose, and glucose. According to Chanduwadia, “Bananas are a good source of potassium and fibre that helps to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure,” In fact, bananas also contain vitamin C and magnesium, making them a great breakfast addition.
5. Citrus fruits
Pectin, a substance found in pears and apples, decreases cholesterol. So do citrus fruits! Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C and fibre and because they possess the strength of antioxidant qualities, they function to lower harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and raise healthy HDL cholesterol. In addition, vitamin C reduces the risk of heart disease and blood pressure. Just one piece of advice: avoid drinking juices because they contain sugar and go for citrus fruits instead.
Cholesterol: Top foods to improve your numbers
Diet can play an important role in lowering your cholesterol. Here are some foods to improve your cholesterol and protect your heart.By Mayo Clinic Staff
Can a bowl of oatmeal help lower your cholesterol? How about a handful of almonds? A few simple tweaks to your diet — along with exercise and other heart-healthy habits — might help you lower your cholesterol.
Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods
Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears.
Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Five to 10 grams or more of soluble fiber a day decreases your LDL cholesterol. One serving of a breakfast cereal with oatmeal or oat bran provides 3 to 4 grams of fiber. If you add fruit, such as a banana or berries, you’ll get even more fiber.
Fish and omega-3 fatty acids
Fatty fish has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your triglycerides — a type of fat found in blood — as well as reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. In people who have already had heart attacks, omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of sudden death.
Omega-3 fatty acids don’t affect LDL cholesterol levels. But because of those acids’ other heart benefits, the American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish a week. Baking or grilling the fish avoids adding unhealthy fats.
The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are in:
Foods such as walnuts, flaxseed and canola oil also have small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 and fish oil supplements are available. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
Almonds and other nuts
Almonds and other tree nuts can improve blood cholesterol. A recent study concluded that a diet supplemented with walnuts can lower the risk of heart complications in people with history of a heart attack. All nuts are high in calories, so a handful added to a salad or eaten as a snack will do.
Avocados are a potent source of nutrients as well as monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Research suggests that adding an avocado a day to a heart-healthy diet can help improve LDL cholesterol levels in people who are overweight or obese.
People tend to be most familiar with avocados in guacamole, which usually is eaten with high-fat corn chips. Try adding avocado slices to salads and sandwiches or eating them as a side dish. Also try guacamole with raw cut vegetables, such as cucumber slices.
Replacing saturated fats, such as those found in meats, with MUFAs are part of what makes the Mediterranean diet heart healthy.
Try using olive oil in place of other fats in your diet. You can saute vegetables in olive oil, add it to a marinade or mix it with vinegar as a salad dressing. You can also use olive oil as a substitute for butter when basting meat or as a dip for bread.
Foods with added plant sterols or stanols
Sterols and stanols are substances found in plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol. Foods that have been fortified with sterols or stanols are available.
Margarines and orange juice with added plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol. Adding 2 grams of sterol to your diet every day can lower your LDL cholesterol by 5 to 15 percent.
It’s not clear whether food with plant sterols or stanols reduces your risk of heart attack or stroke — although experts assume that foods that reduce cholesterol do reduce the risk. Plant sterols or stanols don’t appear to affect levels of triglycerides or of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol.
Whey protein, which is found in dairy products, may account for many of the health benefits attributed to dairy. Studies have shown that whey protein given as a supplement lowers both LDL and total cholesterol as well as blood pressure. You can find whey protein powders in health food stores and some grocery stores.
How to Lower Cholesterol with Diet
What is cholesterol?
Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But if you have too much in your blood, it can stick to the walls of your arteries and narrow or even block them. This puts you at risk for coronary artery disease and other heart diseases.
Cholesterol travels through the blood on proteins called lipoproteins. One type, LDL, is sometimes called the “bad” cholesterol. A high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. Another type, HDL, is sometimes called the “good” cholesterol. It carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Then your liver removes the cholesterol from your body.
What are the treatments for high cholesterol?
The treatments for high cholesterol are heart-healthy lifestyle changes and medicines. The lifestyle changes include healthy eating, weight management, and regular physical activity.
How can I lower cholesterol with diet?
Heart-healthy lifestyle changes include a diet to lower your cholesterol. The DASH eating plan is one example. Another is the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet, which recommends that you
Choose healthier fats.You should limit both total fat and saturated fat. No more than 25 to 35% of your daily calories should come from dietary fats, and less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat. Depending upon how many calories you eat per day, here are the maximum amounts of fats that you should eat:
|Calories per Day||Total Fat||Saturated Fat|
|1,500||42-58 grams||10 grams|
|2,000||56-78 grams||13 grams|
|2,500||69-97 grams||17 grams|
Saturated fat is a bad fat because it raises your LDL (bad cholesterol) level more than anything else in your diet. It is found in some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods.
Trans fat is another bad fat; it can raise your LDL and lower you HDL (good cholesterol). Trans fat is mostly in foods made with hydrogenated oils and fats, such as stick margarine, crackers, and french fries.
Instead of these bad fats, try healthier fats, such as lean meat, nuts, and unsaturated oils like canola, olive, and safflower oils.
Limit foods with cholesterol. If you are trying to lower your cholesterol, you should have less than 200 mg a day of cholesterol. Cholesterol is in foods of animal origin, such as liver and other organ meats, egg yolks, shrimp, and whole milk dairy products.
Eat plenty of soluble fiber. Foods high in soluble fiber help prevent your digestive tract from absorbing cholesterol. These foods include:
- Whole-grain cereals such as oatmeal and oat bran
- Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, pears, and prunes
- Legumes such as kidney beans, lentils, chick peas, black-eyed peas, and lima beans
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can increase important cholesterol-lowering compounds in your diet. These compounds, called plant stanols or sterols, work like soluble fiber.
Eat fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids won’t lower your LDL level, but they may help raise your HDL level. They may also protect your heart from blood clots and inflammation and reduce your risk of heart attack. Fish that are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna (canned or fresh), and mackerel. Try to eat these fish two times a week.
Limit salt. You should try to limit the amount of sodium (salt) that you eat to no more than 2,300 milligrams (about 1 teaspoon of salt) a day. That includes all the sodium you eat, whether it was added in cooking or at the table, or already present in food products. Limiting salt won’t lower your cholesterol, but it can lower your risk of heart diseases by helping to lower your blood pressure. You can reduce your sodium by instead choosing low-salt and “no added salt” foods and seasonings at the table or while cooking.
Limit alcohol. Alcohol adds extra calories, which can lead to weight gain. Being overweight can raise your LDL level and lower your HDL level. Too much alcohol can also increase your risk of heart diseases because it can raise your blood pressure and triglyceride level. One drink is a glass of wine, beer, or a small amount of hard liquor, and the recommendation is that:
- Men should have no more than two drinks containing alcohol a day
- Women should have no more than one drink containing alcohol a day
Which Foods Are The Best To Lower Cholesterol?
There’s a long list of foods you can eat in order to help your cholesterol levels. While no single food may be responsible for dramatic decreases, incorporating several heart-healthy foods can definitely get your levels to more acceptable levels. Elena Paravantes, a registered dietitian nutritionist and author of the book The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners says, “foods that are rich in soluble fiber are very beneficial for cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and turns into a gel-like substance. Other good choices are monounsaturated fats and foods that contain natural plant sterols such as nuts and seeds.”
Foods that lower cholesterol
“Oats can reduce blood cholesterol levels due to high levels of beta-glucan,” says Leann Poston, M.D., M.B.A., M.Ed. a physician and contributor to Invigor Medical.
Studies show a diet rich in bran can lower high cholesterol levels.
Walnuts are high in folate, vitamin E, and healthy fats, says Poston. “In a study in which participants were asked to eat 392 grams of walnuts per week with no other adjustment in diet, the group that ate walnuts had improved diet quality and lower total and LDL cholesterol levels.”
Soybeans contain isoflavones that significantly reduce serum total and LDL cholesterol levels.
Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower cholesterol levels.
Considered a legume, chickpeas are full of fiber which can help lower total cholesterol levels.
Another high-fiber food that can help lower cholesterol, according to the Harvard health blog.
Studies show that one avocado a day can reduce levels of bad cholesterol.
Mackerel is a fatty fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, Poston says.
Grapefruit contains pectin, a soluble fiber that studies say can lower LDL cholesterol and is packed with antioxidants, too.
Raspberries are low in fat and high in antioxidants and flavonoids, says Poston. “In one study, raspberries significantly lowered levels of LDL cholesterol.”
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, a compound that has been found to decrease LDL and total cholesterol.
high in fiber, eggplants can help lower total cholesterol.
Carrots can help lower cholesterol by reducing the absorption of cholesterol from the gut and also seem to lower triglycerides—a bonus, says Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD, FAND, Associate Clinical Professor Emeritus, Department of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
Amanda Izquierda, MPH, RD, LDN, a registered dietician, says, “some research suggests that the soluble fiber and alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) in flaxseed help to lower cholesterol.”
Ayoob says, “kale binds those bile acids prevents them from being reabsorbed, which helps lower your blood level of cholesterol.”
Spinach works the same way as kale to lower cholesterol.
Whole grain bread
According to Izquierda, “whole grain bread has more fiber than refined bread, which can help lower cholesterol.”
Extra virgin olive oil
EVOO is a healthier oil than lard, butter or coconut oil, says Ayoob.
According to Poston, “apples are high in polyphenols, fiber, and polysterols all of which can help lower cholesterol.”
One of the healthiest foods you can eat, almonds are low in saturated fatty acids and rich in unsaturated fatty acids.
“Many types of beans are chock full of soluble fiber,” says Ayoob. “About 1/2 cup 3 times a week has been shown to reduce cholesterol by 6%-8%.”
All beans have cholesterol-lowering power. Ayoob says, “the reduction was mostly in the LDL-cholesterol—the ‘bad’ kind.”