8 Foods That Help Lower Cholesterol
Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Saturday and I hope your weekend is off to a very safe and great week so far. It is another busy weekend for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.
When you are living with HIV, you have to pay more attention to things than most people and one of those things is your nutrition and your cholesterol levels. Yesterday, I blogged about four foods to help with keeping your cholesterol level where it needs to be and today I will conclude with four more foods.
Olive oil doesn't just make food taste better. The unsaturated fats found in olive oil (and canola and walnut oil) have the added benefit of helping to cut LDL cholesterol levels without affecting HDL. Aim for about 2 tablespoons a day in place of other fats.
Tip: To bump up olive oil's bad-cholesterol-lowering power, choose one labeled "extra-virgin." This form is less processed and contains more heart-healthy antioxidants.
They're crisp, sweet and their hefty cargo of natural fiber, much of it in the form of pectin, helps to knock down LDL levels. Surprisingly, fresh pears contain even more pectin than apples do. Pectin binds with cholesterol and ferries it out of the body before it can be absorbed. A medium-size pear provides 16 percent of the recommended daily value for fiber. Other pectin-rich fruits include apples, bananas, oranges and peaches.
Tip: Don't bother to peel pears. Their edible skin is an additional source of fiber. Simply wash before serving.
A cup of tea does more than soothe on a stressful day. Both green and black tea can help lower cholesterol levels. Green tea is prepared from unfermented leaves and black tea from fully fermented leaves of the same plant. Researchers believe that catechins, a type of antioxidant found in tea, are responsible for its cholesterol-lowering effect. The more fermented the tea leaves, the lower the catechin content and the higher the caffeine content.
Tip: Black tea has two to three times the caffeine of green tea. If your preferred black tea keeps you awake at night, look for the decaffeinated form.
Ask for tomato sauce with your pasta if you want to keep your cholesterol under control. Tomatoes are a significant source of a plant compound called lycopene, which reduces levels of LDL cholesterol. Research shows that the body absorbs more lycopene if the tomatoes are processed or cooked, so drink tomato juice and add tomatoes to your minestrone soup as well.
Tip: A small amount of olive oil increases the absorption of lycopene from uncooked tomatoes. Top your lettuce-and-tomato salad with an olive oil dressing to make it even more nutritious.
Hope this information helps you with your goals to stay healthy while living with HIV/AIDS or other chronic illnesses. Hoping you have a beary safe and great Saturday!
Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.
big bear hug,