Is your heart health in check? Do you know your cholesterol numbers? A simple blood lab once a year will keep you on a healthy track. Want to lower your numbers then take a read on five smart heart healthy diet choices that you can start today!
Here’s your ideal cholesterol numbers:
- Total cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dl
- HDL: Men – 40 or above, Women 50 or above
- LDL: Less than 100
- Triglycerides: Less than 150
Five smart and surprising diet choices that will help get your cholesterol numbers in line.
- Get nutty with a handful of nuts four to five times a week. People who consumed 2-3 ounces per serving had an average drop of 5 percent in total cholesterol and 7 percent drop in LDL.
- Eating dark chocolate offers LDL cholesterol lowering benefits by 10 percent. Studies suggest consuming half a flavanol-rich chocolate bar daily.
- Change your oil to boost up your HDL cholesterol by 13 percent and lower LDL by 35 percent to protect your heart. Select monounsaturated olive, sunflower, canola and peanut oils and keep your total fat intake to 25-35 percent of daily calories.
- Snack on seeds, flaxseeds that is. Eating about three tablespoons of flaxseed a day lowered men’s cholesterol by about 10 percent during a three month study. Grind the seeds and sprinkle on cereal and salads, add to baked meals too.
- Go blue with blueberries one of the top antioxidants and cholesterol lowering foods. Initial studies show a 27 percent reduction in total cholesterol. More cholesterol research is needed on this yummy fruit. Enjoy blueberries as a snack and add them to your protein shakes, salads and cereal.
Here’s a list of resources, all worth checking out from WebMD.com.