Lowering levels of cholesterol and triglycerides within the body is a good way to reduce the risk of heart disease; in those already suffering from heart disease, the chances of sudden death are lowered. Certain foods can help lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels within the body when they are eaten as part of a healthy diet.
Cholesterol and triglycerides are fatty substances found in the bloodstream of the body, and they travel through the blood attached to proteins. Only small amounts of triglycerides are usually found in the bloodstream, which the body uses to store energy. Cholesterol, on the other hand, is used by the body to build cells and hormones. Large amounts of cholesterol can build up along artery walls within the bloodstream, forming a plaque.
Oatmeal is just one option to add to a diet high in soluble fiber, which is a good reducer of cholesterol and triglycerides. Ten grams of soluble fiber taken every day as a part of a healthy diet reduces the cholesterol absorbed into the intestines and is capable of reducing total cholesterol and triglycerides. Nuts can be added to a diet to replace items such as croutons in a salad, as they are capable of providing a significant drop in blood cholesterol and can help keep blood vessels healthy. It is recommended that 42.5 grams or 1.5 ounces of nuts such as hazelnuts and pecans can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.
Olive oil contains a huge amount of antioxidants; just two tablespoons of olive oil taken every day in food or as a supplement can reduce bad cholesterol but leave hormone- and cell-forming cholesterol in the body. Avoid light versions of olive oil; an important basic rule of olive oil tells us the lighter the color of the oil, the more processed it has become. Extra virgin olive oil is said to contain even more antioxidants and have even more benefits for a healthy heart. Fatty fish contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to reduce both blood pressure and the risk of blood clots, and are a reducer of cholesterol and triglycerides. Fish that have high levels of Omega-3s include mackerel, lake trout, albacore tuna and salmon. Eating two servings a week of fish with high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids is said to be a good cholesterol reducer. Other foods can replace unhealthy options such as red meat and dairy, which are high in both cholesterol and triglycerides. Twenty-five grams of soy taken daily is a good reducer of the risks of heart disease and can be eaten as a protein alternative to red meat. Three glasses a day of orange juice is also an effective way of raising the good cholesterol the body needs to stay healthy.