Smart dietary choices can not only help you lose weight but also serve as a weapon in your arsenal of protection against serious health problems like high cholesterol.
Dubbed the silent killer, the fatty substance can lay the groundwork for heart disease and strokes without drawing any attention to itself.
Fortunately, nutrition coach Lisa Marley shared foods that could be a double whammy, keeping your cholesterol in check while promoting weight loss.
1.Oats and whole grains
Packed with fibre, oats and whole grains can help reduce “bad” cholesterol levels.
Marley said: “They also provide a feeling of fullness, helping in weight management.
“Include whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat bread in your diet.”
Similar to oats and whole grains, the small foods are rich in fiber which means they are effective at keeping cholesterol levels in check.
“They are also rich in protein, making them a great option for weight loss,” the nutrition coach said.
3.Nuts and seeds
The likes of almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds are brimming with heart-healthy fats that can help reduce your levels of the waxy substance.
“They promote a feeling of satiety, helping in weight management; however, portion control is important due to their high-calorie content,” Marley said.
While fruits and vegetables in general are excellent options when it comes to both cholesterol and weight loss, avocados seem especially potent.
The expert said: “These creamy fruits are a great source of monounsaturated fats, which can help lower LDL cholesterol.
“While avocados are calorie-dense, they can still be included in moderation as a part of a balanced weight-loss diet.”
Something as simple as switching up your cooking oil for the olive variety, which is rich in good fats and antioxidants, could make a difference for both your arteries and your waistline, according to Marley.
The nutrition coach said: “This antioxidant-rich beverage has been shown to have a positive impact on cholesterol levels and may aid in weight loss.”
She recommended swapping sugary drinks for green tea which is a “healthier alternative”.
Adding garlic to your meals could not only keep your cholesterol in check but also add flavor to your dishes “without adding extra calories”, making it a “beneficial addition” to a weight-loss diet.
Some fortified dairy drinks, butters and yogurts contain plant sterols, which can help lower “bad” cholesterol levels.
“Incorporate them into your diet as part of a balanced eating plan,” Marley said.
While the exact amount of the food required to slash cholesterol levels and burn fat can vary depending on individual factors, the expert provided the following general guidelines:
- Fiber: Aim for about 25-30 grams of dietary fiber per day
- Heart-healthy fats: Include moderate amounts of heart-healthy fats in your diet (a handful of nuts or seeds, a tablespoon of olive oil)
- Plant sterols: Include plant sterol-fortified foods in your diet, following the recommended serving sizes mentioned on the product labels
- Fruits and vegetables: Consume them liberally, aiming for at least five servings per day.