Four foods to add to your breakfast to help lower cholesterol – dietician advice
Why cholesterol is bad for you
Having high cholesterol is a potentially dangerous condition.
If left untreated it can raise your risk for multiple problems such as heart attacks and strokes.
One of the major causes of high cholesterol is diet, with foods high in saturated fat among the main culprits.
In the same way that some foods can raise your cholesterol, others can lower it.
Rosie Martin, a registered dietician at Plant Based Health Professionals, spoke to Express.co.uk about foods to add to the first meal of the day to help with your heart health.
“Breakfast is a perfect opportunity to get a variety of health-promoting nutrients in before you even start your day,” she said.
“But did you know that your choice of breakfast could be either increasing or decreasing your blood pressure and cholesterol, and therefore your risk of one of the UK’s biggest killers, heart disease?”
She explained: “Oats provide a soluble fibre called beta glucan that, when included as part of a healthy diet, has a cholesterol-lowering effect.
“Beta glucan forms a gel in your gut which binds with cholesterol and stops it from being reabsorbed.
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“You need three grams per day to get the cholesterol-lowering effect, which you can get from a few servings of oats or barley each day.
“A 30g bowl of porridge in the morning is a perfect place to start.”
“Soya foods, such as soya milk, soya yoghurt, tofu and edamame beans have also been found to lower cholesterol levels,” she said.
“To support your heart health, why not use soya milk in your oats, or add some soya yoghurt to your fruits for breakfast.
“You could even try out some scrambled tofu with your cooked breakfast.”
Fruits and veggies
“Breakfast provides a great opportunity to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables,” Ms Martin said.
“Adding more plants to your plate helps to reduce your intake of other foods higher in salt and saturated fat, as well as provide additional soluble fibre and antioxidants.
“You could add berries or banana to your porridge, or pop some tomatoes, spinach, or mushrooms to your cooked breakfast.”
She added: “Nuts are beneficial for heart health due to their healthy fats, known as unsaturated fats, which are beneficial for lowering cholesterol.
“The recommendation is to choose 30g of raw and unsalted nuts, which could include almonds, walnuts, cashews or pecans amongst others.
“You could sprinkle a few nuts or seeds onto your breakfast to increase your intake of heart-healthy fats.”
She also recommended avoiding the following foods if you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure:
- Sugary cereal.
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