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Simple Ways to Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels

It’s one of the leading causes of heart disease, so help stabilise yours with these simple tweaks to your daily diet.

Small bowl of nuts

Genetics may cause high cholesterol, but for many people it’s lifestyle factors like a poor diet which are to blame. Here are three easy dietary adjustments to improve your blood cholesterol levels:

Oats for Breakfast: It's important to note that there are two types of cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the “good cholesterol” which is transported back to your liver to be flushed out of your body. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the “bad cholesterol” which can accumulate as plaque in the blood vessels leading to heart disease. Oats contain a type of soluble fibre called beta-glucan which has been clinically proven to lower LDL cholesterol. Happily, porridge, overnight oats or adding oats to a smoothie are great ways to start the day.

Go Nuts: The evidence is overwhelming for nuts being key to a healthy, balanced diet, and this is certainly true in the fight against high cholesterol. Peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts are especially beneficial. In fact, one study found that eating just four Brazil nuts improved the levels of LDL and HDL for up to 30 days. The extra good news is that nuts deliver a double whammy since they lower artery-clogging LDL, while also raising healthy HDL.

Oily Fish: There are many studies extolling the virtues of oily fish when it comes to heart health. While research is on-going into its effect on cholesterol specifically, it’s thought that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines can improve the ratio of HDL to LDL in the body.



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