A bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal has benefits that last all day. The fibre and complex carbohydrates in whole grains help you feel fuller for longer, so you’ll be less tempted to overeat at lunch. They also help reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol and can be an important part of your weight loss strategy. Other examples of whole grains include wild rice, popcorn, brown rice, barley, and whole-wheat flour.
Need a snack? A handful of nuts is a tasty treat that helps in lowering cholesterol. Nuts are high in mono unsaturated fat, which lowers LDL “bad” cholesterol while leaving HDL “good” cholesterol intact. Several studies show that people who eat about an ounce of nuts a day have lower risk of heart disease. Nuts are high in fat and calories, so only eat a handful. And make sure they’re not covered in sugar or chocolate.
we all need a little fat in our diet — about 25% to 35% of our daily calories. But the type of fat matters. Unsaturated fats — like those found in canola, olive, and safflower oils — help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol levels and may help raise HDL “good” cholesterol. Saturated fats — like those found in butter and palm oil — and trans fats raise LDL cholesterol. Even good fats have calories, so eat in moderation.
You need carbohydrates for energy, but some do your body more good than others. Whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, and beans have more fiber and raise sugar levels less. These help lower cholesterol and keep you feeling full longer. Other carbs, like those found in white bread, white potatoes, white rice, and pastries, boost blood sugar levels more quickly, leading you to feel hungry sooner, and may increase risk for overeating.
Cholesterol, Good and Bad Your body needs a small amount of cholesterol to function properly. But we may get too much saturated fat and cholesterol in our diet — and both raise levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol. LDLl can cause plaque to build up in arteries, leading to heart disease. HDL “good” cholesterol, on the other hand, helps clear bad cholesterol from your blood. You want to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol, starting with your diet.
If you’re eating healthy food at home to keep cholesterol in check, don’t blow it when you eat out. Restaurant food can be loaded with saturated fat, calories, and sodium. Even healthy choices may come in super-size portions.