All cholesterol is not bad. In fact, the liver and other cells in the body actually produce cholesterol, which in turn helps to produce cell membranes and some hormones.
There are 2 types of cholesterol, HDL or good cholesterol and LDL or bad cholesterol. In order to remain healthy we must increase HDL levels and decrease LDL levels. Some foods help to lower cholesterol levels naturally and that is what we need to focus on.
The good old adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away holds good even today. Eating a couple of apples everyday or drinking 2-3 glasses of apple juice seems to have an effect in lowering the LDL levels. In fact, if it is taken regularly, the risk of heart diseases is decreased considerably. Vegetables and fruits are cholesterol free and hence can be taken freely. The high fibre acts like a sponge soaking up all the excess cholesterol.
Eating the fruits and vegetables raw in the form of salads and drinking soup is a good way of warding off the evils of high cholesterol. Leafy vegetables and green salads are a good way to start the day. Citrus fruits contain lots of vitamin C, folic acid and soluble fibre.
Grandmother`s garlic does wonders for the human system. It helps to make blood thinner thus decreasing the risk of clogged arteries and also lowers LDL levels. Raw onions not only decrease LDL levels but also increase HDL levels. Beans and legumes have always been advocated because of their soluble fibre content. Kidney beans, lentils, are good for the heart, elevate HDL levels and lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Use legumes, peas, and beans in soups, stews and salads. Vegetables like carrots, sprouts, cauliflower and onion have been known to do a lot of good. Green and black tea are known to have positive effects in lowering cholesterol. Do not avoid eating oatmeal porridge or oat bran and do indulge in eating a small quantity of nuts everyday. Add fenugreek and turmeric to as many dishes as possible. They are good for the heart. Increase the use of soybean and soybean products. They are a rich source of vitamin E, unsaturated fats and fibre.
Fats are essential ingredients in our daily lives, but just stick with unsaturated fats. These fats are derived from plants, seeds and vegetables and are known to do wonders for the lowering of cholesterol. Oils like soybean oil, olive oil, safflower and sunflower oil, corn and canola oil have a great advantage over their counterparts. A very good cholesterol reducing food is olive oil. It increases HDL, which helps to prevent plaque formation in the arteries.
The bottom line then is to increase intake of vegetables and fruits and thus increase the amount of fibre consumed, go easy on saturated fats, avoid junk food, use fresh herbs, eat fresh salads and drink fresh juices. Cholesterol levels will automatically reduce.