Everything doesn’t have to be difficult, including lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol. For years the focus in the war on cholesterol has been on raising HDL (good) levels, which in turn would lower LDL (bad) levels to reduce risks of heart disease, heart attacks and/or strokes. The theory of that plan of attack was the elevated levels of good cholesterol would gobble up the bad cholesterol, and so it has been common place to prescribe and take HDL boosting drugs. New research has shown elevated levels of good cholesterol does not protect against heart disease, heart attacks or strokes, but lowering bad cholesterol does. Take medications, like statin drugs prescribed by your physician and incorporate these four things into daily diet to easily lower bad cholesterol.
Eat More Pinto Beans
Southerner’s have known for decades what modern medicine has recently discovered – pinto beans are good for your heart. Pinto beans or other fibrous legume varieties like navy or white beans, grace the tables and restaurant menus daily all across the south. Eating just one-half cup of pinto beans each day can help lower total cholesterol levels significantly. Pinto beans are rich in soluble fiber, which works to reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed into your blood stream. Kidney beans, mixed beans, black eyed peas, oatmeal, barley, apples, pears and prunes are alternative foods rich in soluble fiber.
Drink More Green Tea
Washing those pinto beans down with green tea will shave even more points off your total cholesterol. A daily cup or glass of green tea (or green tea extract) can lower bad cholesterol by a couple of points and lower the total number by close to 10 points.
Cook with Olive Oil
Olive oil is the most heart-healthy oil available. Olive oil contains heart healthy monounsaturated fat and a powerful mix of antioxidants that work in conjunction to lower bad cholesterol. Some people shy away from cooking with olive oil because of it’s low smoke point, but olive oil is safe for cooking any type of foods except deep fried foods, in which the oil would exceed a safe temperature. Extra virgin is high in calories, so limit use to two tablespoons per day.
Skip Store Bought Cakes and Cookies
Store bought, ready-to-eat cakes and cookies are convenient, however they usually are loaded with unhealthy trans fat (unless otherwise labeled). Trans fat raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol. Watch out for trans fat in crackers and other types of commercial baked goods.
Source: The Battle of Good vs. Bad Cholesterol