Best supplements for high cholesterol: Lower cholesterol levels with five super foods
BEST SUPPLEMENTS for high cholesterol: High cholesterol can be dangerous, but luckily it can be lowered by making certain dietary changes. Including these five foods or supplements in your diet can help to lower cholesterol levels.
Having too much cholesterol in the blood can clog up the blood vessels serving the heart, leading to coronary heart disease. Worryingly, six in 10 people in the UK have raised or abnormal levels of cholesterol in the blood, according to Heart UK. High cholesterol can happen by following an unhealthy diet and eating too much saturated fat. But luckily, cholesterol levels can be lowered by improving your diet. Heart UK suggests including the following five ’super foods’ into your diet to help combat high cholesterol:
Oats and barley
Oats and barley are rich in a type of fibre called beta glucan – which can help to lower cholesterol.
When beta glucan is consumed, it forms a gel which binds to cholesterol and bile in the intestines.
This helps limit the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed from the gut into the blood. Beta glucan can also be taken in supplement form.
Nuts are rich in protein, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium, and contain natural plant sterols and other plant nutrients which help keep the body healthy and stave off disease.
Nuts are high in unsaturated fats and lower in saturated fats, a mix which can help to keep cholesterol levels healthy.
Soya foods are full of protein, vitamins and minerals, and are low in saturated fat.
“They play a role in helping to keep your cholesterol levels down too,” said Heart UK, so try switching some of your usual meat and dairy products to soya alternatives.
Foods with added sterols and stanols
Sterols and stanols are plant chemicals that are absorbed from the intestines into the blood stream and block some cholesterol from being absorbed.
A small amount of sterols is found in plant-based foods such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, but it’s not enough to lower cholesterol.
Food companies have therefore developed foods with plant sterols or stanols added to them, such as mini yogurt drinks, fat spreads, milk and yoghurts.
Fruit and vegetables
Fruit and veg are high in vitamins and minerals and plant chemicals which help you to stay healthy and prevent disease.
They contain little or no fat and are also high in fibre, some of which can help to lower cholesterol.