Top 3 Cholesterol-Lowering Foods
If you´ve been following my blog — or at least looked through the various titles — I started writing very focused on exercise and fitness. Yoga has been a staple through out my posts, including its health benefits, links to new scientific discoveries and reports, and also various forms of the ancient practice. A bit later, I began to explore various other popular exercises such as Spinning and Zumba. I focused on these themes because yoga, and overall fitness, has been important in my life for several years. For me, exercise and physical activity are nature´s true medicine, poised to help us build a stronger body and immune system. However, more recently, I turned to writing about nutrition.
I´ve always thought that what you put inside your body is as important as what you do the outside, but blogging about it never seemed as pertinent to Studio Live TV. Well, I´ve changed my mind about that. In order to feel great and have enough energy, one must follow a proper diet (and by diet, I don´t mean watching your caloric intake and avoiding specific foods, though that is important for losing weight). What I mean is that if you´ve eaten a double cheese burger, fries, and a coke, I bet that you can´t last a full 60 minute cardio class. Well, perhaps you´ll suffer through it, only to throw up or collapse from exhaustion immediately after.
So, why am I telling you this? Because I hope you continue to read to learn about not only general health and fitness, but also nutrition–the really important stuff.
Today, I´d like to focus on something we all know is harmful, yet I don´t think we fully understand it: cholesterol. I recently read that 25 percent of our cholesterol comes from our diets. The rest is apparently produced by our bodies. I think this is good news, because it means that we can control a significant portion of our cholesterol. For me, I inherited bad cholesterol from my father. But I can help offset that the genetic amount with a proper diet.
Not surprisingly, there´s no easy way around it: to help lower bad cholesterol, you need to stay away from foods high in sodium and sugar and avoid bad fats. Conversely, you can also eat certain foods that will help you to lower your cholesterol levels. The list includes the following:
Nuts — while high in fat, nuts are a great source of protein and antioxidents. The fats contained in them are also good for you, having you to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, but should be eaten in moderation. Eaten in moderation, certain nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, and peanuts, can help to lower bad cholesterol. Nuts contain healthy fats and antioxidants that can keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Recommendation: 3 to 5 servings per week, which is about one to one and a half cups. When possible, choose a natural, salt-free roasted variety.
Beans — High in antioxidants, fiber and protein, there are a variety of beans that are cholesterol-lowering friendly. Try making a different kind of soup for the work week with kidney, garbanzos, and white beans as well as with split and black-eyed peas.
Fruits & Vegetables — Last, but certainly not least, are fruits and vegetables are packed with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy plant-based nutrients called phytochemicals. There´s no limit to how many you should be eating per week.
Of course, these are foods you should be eating anyways–as I´m sure you are. So enjoy them and know that you´re body is putting it to great use.