Burgers, greasy fries, chocolate-laden waffles and fizzy drinks have become an unavoidable part of urban living. Even if you try to steer clear of them, you somehow end up eating these foods - calling it as your "weekend binge" or "cheat meal." While it is okay to indulge and enjoy them once in a while, the problem arises when these temptations start going out of control. One of the most common health conditions faced by people these days is their high cholesterol levels, which if not paid attention to, may take your heart's health for a ride. Cholesterol is found in every cell of the body and has important natural functions in stimulating various activities in the body that include digesting foods, producing hormones and others.
There are two types of cholesterol: HDL (High density lipoproteins) or "good cholesterol" and LDL (Low density lipoprotein) or "bad cholesterol." And, it is the LDL that transports all fat molecules throughout your body. It is the excess of this class of cholesterol that may cause a host of health disorders, particularly that of heart. Bad cholesterol forms a layer of plaque on the walls of arteries, which makes it difficult for the blood to flow in its natural pace, which further contributes to high blood pressure and in worse cases, even a stroke. But did you know that plaque build-up is reversible? All you have to do is to change your diet and lifestyle. There are certain foods and drinks that may help you regulate your cholesterol.
Foods And Drinks To Manage Cholesterol Levels:
1. Lemon Water: Lemon is a great source of soluble fibre that works as a sponge. It absorbs water in your digestive tract and forms a viscous mass, which catches bad cholesterol or LDL and removes it from your body.
(Also Read: 5 Benefits of Starting Your Day With Lemon Water)
2. Pomegranate Juice: Pomegranate juice is packed with antioxidants, which are known to prevent hardening of the arteries and may even reverse the development of the problem. Antioxidants are thought to provide several heart-protecting benefits, including reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol.
3. Walnuts: Walnuts are rich in vitamin B, vitamin E and omega 3. Eating walnuts may slow down the growth of plaque in your arteries and prevent blood clots. Moreover, omega-3s help reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by preventing the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.
(Also Read: 7 Health Benefits of Walnuts)
4. Oats: One of the best ways to lower cholesterol is to have a bowlful of oatmeal. Oatmeal contains soluble fibre that reduces LDL or bad cholesterol. The fibre present can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Here are some interesting oats recipes that you can try.
5. Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are power-packed with fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are known to decrease bad cholesterol levels and reduce the plaque build-up as well. According to the book, 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing House, "Flaxseeds are a great source of soluble mucilaginous (gum-like) fibre that can lower unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) and balance blood sugar levels. It also acts like a hunger suppressant and helps you feel full for long. Their high omega-3 fatty acids content can help lower undesirable fats (triglycerides) in the blood, reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack."
Makes sure you consume these foods in their natural form as a part of a healthy lifestyle to achieve your health goals. Consult your doctor before adding these foods and drinks to your daily diet.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Shubham BhatnagarYou can often find Shubham at a small authentic Chinese or Italian restaurant sampling exotic foods and sipping a glass of wine, but he will wolf down a plate of piping hot samosas with equal gusto. However, his love for homemade food trumps all.