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Doctor shares seven simple dietary tweaks to bust high cholesterol levels

This Morning's Dr Chris discusses the signs of high cholesterol

High cholesterol is commonly branded the “invisible killer” because there are usually no symptoms that accompany it. 

This makes it highly pernicious because the fatty substance can increase your risk of heart disease.

However, smart food choices could pose as a weapon against high cholesterol levels.

Fortunately, Dr Sunni Patel, from Dish Dash Deets, shared with the simple dietary tweaks that could help.

1. Reduce saturated and trans fats

Eating too many foods high in saturated and trans fats is a recipe for high levels of “bad” cholesterol, spelling bad news for your cardiovascular system.

READ MORE Doctor shares 10 best foods for slashing high cholesterol levels

Therefore, the doctor recommended cutting down on the likes of fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, fried foods, and commercially baked goods.

He added: “By limiting the intake of saturated and trans fats, individuals can potentially lower their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels by around five to 10 percent.”

2. Increase dietary fibre

Cholesterol-lowering diet doesn’t only focus on foods that you should avoid but also the ones you should include. 

Consuming more soluble fibre could reduce your levels of “bad” cholesterol and benefit your gut.

According to Dr Sunni, “good” sources include fruits, such as apples, oranges, and berries, vegetables, like broccoli, carrots, and Brussels sprouts, legumes, whole grains and nuts.

He said: “Consuming adequate amounts of soluble fibre from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts can lead to a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels by approximately five to 10 percent.”

3. Add omega-3s

Hidden in the likes of oily fish, nuts and seeds, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help lower triglycerides and reduce the risk of heart disease. 

A portion or two a week of oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, or tuna should help.

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4. Include plant sterols or stanols

Plant sterols and stanols describe plant chemicals proven to lower “bad” cholesterol levels.

These goodies are either naturally found in certain fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds or you can also find them in fortified dairy products like butter spreads and dairy drinks.

Dr Sunni added: “Consuming plant sterols or stanols may lead to a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels by about five to 15 percent when consumed in recommended amounts.”

5. Limit cholesterol-rich foods

If you are trying to keep your cholesterol in check, the doctor recommended cutting back on cholesterol-rich foods, such as organ meats, shellfish, and egg yolks. 

“While they do contain essential nutrients, it’s important to consume them in moderation if you have high cholesterol,” he said.

6. Control portion sizes

Dr Sunni recommended watching your portion sizes in order to avoid overeating, as excess weight can contribute to high cholesterol levels. 

“Use measuring cups or a food scale to ensure appropriate serving sizes,” the doctor said.

7. Stay hydrated and limit sugary drinks

The doctor’s last tip focuses on ensuring sufficient hydration that comes from water but you should limit your intake of sugary beverages like soda and fruit juices, as they could lead to weight gain and increased cholesterol levels, Dr Sunni added.

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