There’s a lot we can’t control about our health, especially when it comes to the genes we inherit. But there are numerous factors we do have control over, like maintaining a healthy weight, getting plenty of exercise, and not using tobacco products.
Plus, there are additional ways to take action to improve a chronic condition, even serious problems like high cholesterol.
If you have high cholesterol, you have elevated low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in your bloodstream. These particles cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries and form plaque. When this occurs, delicate arteries can narrow and harden, reducing the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your body.
When ignored, high cholesterol can jeopardize your health and life.
Our team at Comprehensive Primary Care can diagnose and treat high cholesterol. And one of the best ways to improve your numbers involves adopting a healthy diet. But it’s not just eating right — certain foods can actually lower your numbers.
Do you have high cholesterol? Adding these heart-healthy items to your plate can help lower your LDL.
Believe it or not, you can start tackling your cholesterol by eating the right breakfast first thing in the morning. Just reach for a bowl of oat-based cold cereal or piping hot oatmeal, and you’re well on your way to lower numbers.
Oats provide soluble fiber, which helps remove cholesterol from your system. A single serving to start your day can provide 3-4 grams of soluble fiber in one sitting, making a big dent in the 5-10 recommended daily grams.
Want even better results? Add some fresh fruit to your oats for an extra boost of fiber goodness.
You probably know that fruit is good for your body, but certain kinds can also lower your LDL. The best options for your fruit bowl include:
Would you prefer something more savory? Double down on your veggies. Vegetables offer a variety of compounds that benefit heart health, especially broccoli, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, carrots, eggplants, okra, and potatoes.
Another LDL-lowering powerhouse involves the legume family. These items, also known as pulses, include:
Not only are they high in soluble fiber, but they also take a while for the body to digest. That means you feel fuller longer after eating them — a bonus if you’re also trying to reach a healthy weight.
Finally, if you have high cholesterol, you must look at the omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. This essential substance reduces triglycerides, a specific type of fat found in the blood.
While they don’t lower LDL, these fatty acids raise the good cholesterol in your system — HDL (high-density lipoproteins). This substance removes cholesterol from other body parts and delivers it to the liver, flushing it from your system.
Omega-3 fatty acids also offer other heart-health benefits, like lowering blood pressure and blood clot formation.
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include:
You can also watch for foods fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, like some dairy products and juices.
These are just a few foods shown to lower cholesterol, but it’s just the beginning. Our team can offer personalized guidance to help you see results and improve your heart health most effectively.
Have you had your cholesterol checked lately? To learn more about cholesterol screenings and management strategies, schedule an appointment at Comprehensive Primary Care in Lawrenceville or Suwanee, Georgia, today.