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If you’re looking to lower your cholesterol, the key may be simply changing your morning meal. Switching up your breakfast to contain two servings of oats can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by 5.3% in only 6 weeks. The key to this cholesterol buster is beta-glucan, a substance in oats that absorbs LDL, which your body then excretes. Banish bland oats with this dessert-worthy ginergersnap oatmeal recipe.
Scientists are giving us yet another reason to drink to our health. It turns out that high-fiber Tempranillo red grapes, used to make red wine like Rioja, may actually significantly lower cholesterol levels. A study conducted by the department of metabolism and nutrition at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain found that when individuals consumed the same grape supplement found in red wine, their LDL levels decreased by 9%. In addition, those who had high cholesterol going into the study saw a 12% drop in LDL. So go ahead and drink a glass for that cholesterol-lowering benefit.
Omega-3 fats are one of the natural health wonders of the world and have been shown to ward off heart disease, dementia, and many other diseases. Now these fatty acids can add yet another health benefit to their repertoire: lowering cholesterol. According to research from Loma Linda University, replacing saturated fats with omega-3s like those found in salmon, sardines, and herring can raise good cholesterol as much as 4%. (Here’s everything you need to know about buying the healthiest fish possible.)
If you’re looking for a snack food that lowers cholesterol levels, research shows that you should get cracking! In a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who noshed on 1.5 oz of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month lowered their total cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL cholesterol by 9.3%. Almonds and cashews are other good options. However, while nuts are heart healthy, they’re also high in calories, so practice portion control—1.5 oz is about a shot glass and a half. Use a shot glass to measure out your portion so you can see exactly how it looks. (Here’s what happens if you eat too many nuts.)
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