LDL or low-density lipoprotein collects in the walls of your blood vessels, where it can cause blockages. Higher LDL levels put you at greater risk for a heart attack from a sudden blood clot. You’re probably aware that a simple change in your diet can help lower your LDL “Bad” Cholesterol, but you may not know that this change is simpler and tastier than you think. Just adding a simple cup of oatmeal to your daily routine can help you get back on the right track.

Avocados

Avocados are a potent source of nutrients as well as monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Adding an avocado a day to a heart-healthy diet can help improve LDL levels in people who are overweight or obese.

People tend to be most familiar with avocados in guacamole, 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, instead of chips.

Whole Grains

Oatmeal and other foods containing whole grains contain soluble fiber, which has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in kidney beans, apples and pears. Add some fruit on top of your oatmeal for even more soluble fiber.

Vegetables

Most vegetables are high in soluble fiber and low in calories. Eggplant and okra contain high amounts of soluble fiber, but any kind of vegetable will give you fiber and nutrients that are good for lowering LDL cholesterol.

Nuts

Walnuts, almonds and other tree nuts can also aid in improving cholesterol. Rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy.

Eating a handful (1.5 ounces, or 42.5 grams) a day of most nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts, may reduce your risk of heart disease.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids and antioxidants that help lower LDL levels. Just make sure to eat in moderation, as chocolate is also high in saturated fat and sugar. We recommend dark chocolate over other type as it is much lower in sugar.

Fish

Salmon, albacore tuna, sardines, and halibut are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce triglycerides in the blood. Try preparing the fish by baking or grilling rather than frying.

In addition to changing your diet, making other heart-healthy lifestyle changes is key to improving your cholesterol. Exercising, quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight will help keep your cholesterol at a healthy level. East Northport Medical Care can help you come up with a plan that fits into your lifestyle. Give us a call today at (631) 368-9166 and we will be happy to setup an appointment to get you on the road to better health.