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Try these five foods that help fight bad cholesterol

With the holidays approaching, it is wise to have an eating plan in place to keep your cholesterol levels in check. By being aware of the foods that can lower your bad cholesterol and focusing on including them, it is often possible to keep from losing control. Here are five foods that can combat those high cholesterol readings.

Fiber is a fighter
Foods like oatmeal have soluble fiber, which attracts water and forms a gel that can drag bad cholesterol out of the body before it has a chance to get into circulation. Five to 10 grams of soluble fiber daily can decrease your LDL or bad cholesterol. Soluble fiber can be found in kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples, pears and bananas. A bowl of Cheerios can give you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. If you slice a banana on top, you add another half-gram. An apple can supply four grams. A serving of oatmeal can provide three grams of fiber. Research has shown that adding 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber each day to your diet can lower bad cholesterol by 10 to 15%.

Phytosterols are competitors
Sterols and stanols are plant substances found in foods like flax seed, almonds and broccoli. They are structurally similar to cholesterol. When added to the diet, these sterols and stanols compete with cholesterol to get absorbed into the digestive system and can effectively block cholesterol from being absorbed. Some companies have begun adding these substances to other foods like orange juice or granola bars. They are also sold as supplements. As little as 2 grams of phytosterols per day can lower bad cholesterol by 10%, so get these into the daily diet plan.

Omega-3 is where you want to be
Omega-3 fatty acids can lower bad cholesterol in a serious way. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines and herring are chock full of Omega-3 fatty acids. When you choose fish for a meal, you not only get a healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids, you replace meat proteins, which don’t have the same cholesterol lowering benefit. If you don’t care for seafood, you can find fatty acids in flax seed, walnuts and canola oil.

Naturally sweet is the way to have a treat
The amount of sweets you eat can affect your cholesterol level. Basically, if you eat more calories than your body needs in a day, the extra fuel is stored as triglycerides, which is a type of fat that circulates in the blood and raises your total cholesterol number. Cupcakes, soda, candy and other high calorie, low nutrition foods deliver a lot of calories that are often not used. A good first step is to step away from soda pop and switch to water. If you crave something sweet, think of having a crisp apple instead of a candy bar. Remember that apple has that bad cholesterol lowering soluble fiber as well as fewer calories. Cutting down sweets can improve your cholesterol level.

Try tea and see
Tea contains antioxidants called catechins that are believed to decrease the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed into the digestive system. Green tea has the highest level of catechins but other teas can come close depending on the type of leaves and amount of time steeping.

Eating well during recovery
After surgery or other medical event, diet becomes very important. Foods should be chosen wisely to help with healing and keep cholesterol under control. This can be challenging during recovery when appetites can decrease and empty calories seem to be most appealing. For many, the best way to recover is to choose to stay in a short-term care facility where everything from medications to diet are intentionally monitored to assure the best possible outcome.

One of the North Shore’s leading short-term care facilities is Glenview Terrace. Whether you are recovering from a cardiac event or mending a broken hip, you can be sure your medications, diet and other concerns will be administered by Glenview Terrace’s attentive staff who work closely with the hospital and physicians. You will also work one-on-one with top therapists to help you quickly regain the strength, mobility and the confidence you need to return to your regular schedule. Your physical, occupational or speech therapy will take place in Glenview Terrace’s state-of-the-art rehabilitation gyms, including the main gym, which features floor-to-ceiling views of its tranquil fountain and patio. Compassionate staff offer the encouragement and positive reinforcement needed to move you toward your goals.

Glenview Terrace delivers this top-notch care in an elegant setting that begins with beautifully landscaped grounds and continues into the spacious, well-appointed rooms. Guests can enjoy nutritious meals filled with the protein and vitamins needed to enhance the healing process. There are many opportunities for interaction with others during leisure activities. Guests can also choose to relax in their rooms with a stunning array of amenities and services during their stay.

When it is time for compassionate and expert care, consider Glenview Terrace, where the goal is always to successfully get you back to the independent lifestyle you desire. For additional information or to arrange a tour, visit or call 847-729-9090.