High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
High cholesterol levels are often the outcome of poor dietary choices, but smart dietary tweaks can pose as an antidote against the culprit.
Fortunately, Dr Sunni Patel, from Dish Dash Deets, shared with Express.co.uk a list of warming foods to add to your winter cholesterol-lowering menu.
A staple served across many kitchen spreads in the UK, porridge could help bust “bad” cholesterol thanks to oats’ content of soluble fibre.
The doctor explained that soluble fibre binds to cholesterol in the digestive system and helps to remove it from the body.
“Aim for at least five to 10 grams of soluble fibre per day, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels,” Dr Patel added.
READ MORE ‘I’m a pharmacist – here’s a fruit you should eat to slash cholesterol levels’
If you want to take the cholesterol-lowering powers of your porridge to the next level, the doctor recommended adding some nuts like almonds or walnuts on top.
Nuts are packed with unsaturated fats as well as plant sterols which can both contribute to cholesterol management.
2. Roasted fish
From salmon to mackerel, roasting an oily fish for dinner can provide more than a tasty dish.
These types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower triglycerides and reduce the risk of heart disease, the doctor explained.
“Fatty fish can decrease the risk of plaque build-up in arteries, all of which can contribute to better cholesterol profiles,” Dr Patel said.
The NHS recommends eating at least two portions of fish per week, including one portion of oily fish.
The colourful powders can not only elevate your warming soups, stews and curries but also keep the fatty substance in check.
Dr Patel recommended opting for garlic, turmeric and cinnamon as they offer cholesterol-lowering and heart-healthy properties.
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Garlic, in particular, contains allicin, a compound that may have a mild cholesterol-lowering effect by inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver, the doctor shared.
He added: “These spices can be used in cooking or added to beverages. There are no specific quantity recommendations, but they can be part of your daily diet in moderate amounts.”
You probably already pop the kettle on to brew a calming cuppa or an energising coffee, but swapping these popular beverages for green tea could lower cholesterol.
Dr Patel said: “Some studies suggest that the antioxidants in green tea may help lower bad cholesterol.
“There’s no specific recommended amount, but a few cups of green tea a day can be beneficial.”
Making plant-based curries with cholesterol-lowering spices could also allow you to include more fibre-rich foods in your diet, including pulses and lentils.
The doctor explained that these small foods are “excellent sources” of soluble fibre and plant-based protein which can help reduce bad cholesterol.
Dr Patel added: “Include legumes like beans, lentils, and peas in your diet regularly. A half-cup to one cup of cooked legumes in a meal can be a good target.”
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