Source: MSN Lifestyle
OATMEAL COULD BE THE KEY TO HEALTHIER CHOLESTEROL LEVELS.
“I can’t believe it,” my gym buddy, Zach, told me during a recent workout. “My doctor says I have high cholesterol.”
From the outside, Zach hardly fit what many of us assume the profile of a high cholesterol sufferer to be — he’s not overweight, he doesn’t smoke, and he’s not carrying around a lot of excess belly fat. However, his diagnosis pointed to what many people don’t realize about this serious health issue: it’s a lot more common than you might think.
High cholesterol doesn’t always discriminate the way we think it does; it can affect the young, old, healthy, infirm, active, or sedentary. For some, it’s related to lifestyle, but for others, it can be hereditary, and certain life events and health issues, from menopause to diabetes, can be the catalyst for high cholesterol. Despite what some may believe, high cholesterol isn’t just an inconvenience — if left untreated, it can lead to heart disease, stroke, and even death.While maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and not lighting up can help us reduce our risk of developing high cholesterol, by far the easiest (and most delicious) solution to this problem starts on our plates. Research conducted at Baylor University Medical Center reveals that the right foods can be an effective way of preventing and treating high cholesterol, so start by discovering the 50 Foods That Lower Cholesterol.
As kids, we may have known oatmeal as the boring cousin of our favorite sugary cereals, but as adults, we can appreciate its myriad health benefits. Topping the list is oatmeal’s cholesterol-lowering properties; research conducted at the University of Manitoba reveals that the beta-glucans in oats lowered LDL cholesterol (better known to most of us as “bad cholesterol”) an average of 7%. For more carbohydrate-rich foods you can eat without guilt or weight gain, turn to our list of the 15 Best Grains For Weight Loss.
Love Mexican food? You might just be in luck. While we can’t promise that every burrito or plate of enchiladas you eat will be a health food, research indicates that black beans can have a significant effect on your cholesterol levels. A study of conducted at Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Viçosa reveals that rats who consumed hulled black beans reduced their blood cholesterol levels by 35%, in addition to excreting more cholesterol in their stool.
Fish are most definitely our friends when it comes to weight loss, and, as it turns out, they’re no slouch in terms of our cholesterol levels, either. A study of Japanese patients with high cholesterol revealed that fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids continued helping lower their LDL cholesterol a staggering 25% after research concluded. For more fish and seafood that can help improve your health as a whole, brush up on what made our list of the World’s Healthiest Seafood!
An apple a day definitely does keep the doctor away, particularly if you’re struggling with high cholesterol. A French study conducted at the Universitié Paul Sabatier Institut de Physiologie revealed that subjects lowered their cholesterol by up to 29% after a period of regular apple consumption — that’s just one reason apples earned a spot among the 25 Best Fruits For a Flatter Belly!