Q: Doc, thanks for this column. I learn a lot from it. Doctor, what is the best food for someone that has high cholesterol? Thanks
A: Now, the first lesson we all need to learn is that cholesterol is not completely a demon 😀 There is the good cholesterol and the bad cholesterol. So, when we talk about high cholesterol, we usually refer to the bad one, Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol, which can lead to blockage of the vessels and inevitably, a heart attack…not good news! But we do need the good one, High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. It mops up excess cholesterol and prevents LDL from being changed into the form that causes heart disease. Indeed, we are encouraged to take foods that increase this and this in turn improves heart health.
So, what foods can help reduce bad cholesterol in the body and increase the level of good cholesterol? Here are some examples:
Oats and other whole grains which form soluble fiber that reduce the absorption of cholesterol and in addition, give you a feeling of satiety for long. This prevents you feeling hungry more often and reaching for ‘unhealthy’ snacks 😀 Other foods in this group include okro, beans, apples, citrus fruits and garden egg (egg plants).
Soya beans, heart healthy oils like Olive oil and Canola oil, nuts (which should only be served in handfuls) and fatty fish like mackerel also reduce LDL.
Generally eating healthy with lots of fruits and vegetables, cutting out the white carbs (pastries etc), exercising (at least 150 minutes weekly), ensuring you are not overweight and quitting smoking.
Have a good evening, fabulous people 😀