Why? Sardines contain good amounts of omega-3, an essential acidthat protects arteries. Eating three servings of fatty fish (such as sardines or mackerel) per week is recommended to limit cholesterol.
How? Fresh sardines can be cooked whole and eaten grilled. You can marinate sardine fillets in lemon juice and a little olive oil with some chopped onions. Canned sardines are ideal for livening up a salad.
Why? Nuts contain the ideal combination of good fats, fibers, and phytosterols, vegetable sterols, which have each proven effective in regulating cholesterol.
How? Include chopped nuts in a salad or ground nuts in a cake.
Why? Apples contain high amounts of antioxidants, which protect the cardiovascular system, as well as pectin, which prevents the absorption of fat. To take advantage of these benefits, eat 2-3 apples a day.
How? Apples are best eaten raw, with the skin still on. You can also slice apples and add them to yogurt, salads, and cereals.
Why? Eighty percent of oat fibers are beta glucans, which have the benefit of lowering blood cholesterol.
How? Oat bran, which is especially rich in beta glucans, can irritate the intestines. Eat small amounts of oat bran (never more than three tablespoons per day). Rolled oats, even if whole, are much better tolerated.
Why? A recent American study found that eating one avocado per day led to reduced blood cholesterol, largely because avocados contain oleic acids.
How? Avocados are best eaten raw (without vinaigrette or mayonnaise), by themselves or in a salad. Be careful how you eat guacamole, however, as it is generally served with chips.
Why? Chickpeas are very interesting due to their content of soluble fibers, which reduce absorption of bad cholesterol (LDL).
How? If you buy dry chickpeas, soak them for 24 hours before cooking, changing the water several times. After cooking, chickpeas can be eaten cold (in salads) or hot (in vegetable stir fries, for example). Mix chickpeas with lemon and sesame paste to make hummus.
Why? Soy isoflavones, which contain polyunsaturated fats and fibers, protect the cardiovascular system and lower blood lipid levels.
How? Tofu, soy yogurt, and soy steak are just a few examples of the great variety of soy-based products.
Why? Studies have shown that flaxseed (you should eat 20-30 g per day) could lower cholesterol significantly in people with hypercholesterolemia.
How? Sprinkle ground flaxseed liberally in your foods (such as cereals, yogurt, soup, and salad)
Why? Eggplant contains high amounts of soluble fibers, especially protopectins, which have the capacity to “trap” cholesterol. Eggplant also has high antioxidant power, making it a champion in the fight against the oxidation of cholesterol, which leads to arterial plaque formation.
How? Steam eggplant or braise it to limit added fat.
Why? Tomatoes (like carrots or other colored vegetables) contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. An Australian meta-analysis concluded that lycopene helps reduce “bad” cholesterol.
How? Eat tomatoes raw, in salads, mixed in juices, or in soup. You can also cook tomatoes à la provençale or make tomato sauces.
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