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5 Whole-Grain Foods That Lower Cholesterol and the Best Ways to Eat Them
High levels of cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, can cause several health issues. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention described that excessive LDL cholesterol in the blood leads to plaque building in the inner layers of the veins and arteries; it can lead to other severe health conditions like stroke and artery or heart disease.
Maintaining a healthy diet with whole grains and gut-healthy fibers can help you lower your blood cholesterol level. Recent research from Physiological Genomics has revealed that fiber-rich foods improve gut health and can positively impact lipid metabolism, resulting in a healthy cholesterol level. Besides that, a recent review of studies also revealed that those who take three or more servings of whole grain foods have a 20% less chance of stroke and heart attack.
So, which whole grain foods can help you reduce LDL cholesterol while improving HDL or good cholesterol levels? Let's check out.
Oats can be a great way to cut down the cholesterol level. It contains Beta-glucan fiber, a water-soluble fiber. Studies have also proven that regular consumption of oats can decrease total cholesterol levels by up to 5% and the LDL level by up to 7% in adults.
While consuming oats, you must opt for steel-cut oats or rolled oats. Instant oats are not recommended, as these come with added preservatives that can do more harm than good.
The best part about oats is their versatility. Oats are also available easily in the market and are pocket friendly.
Those always in a rush in the morning can make a quick oats smoothie, overnight oats, or even oats porridge, to their diet. Numerous recipes are available, and you can combine oats with different types of fruits and vegetables to customize them daily.
If you have time or love pancakes, you can make pancakes from oats or oats flour to eat. Making oats flour is very easy. You just need to roast the oats for a few minutes and then grind them to a fine powder.
Besides that, you can also bake oats cookies or oats muffins to add some healthy touch to your dessert cravings. Small oats granola bars with peanut butter, coconut, and healthy nuts and seeds are also a great option.
If you love rice or are gluten intolerant, brown rice is a great option. A 2019 review of journals also supported the fact that brown rice, which is rich in dietary fiber, can decrease the LDL cholesterol level. As per USDA, an individual can consume 6-10 ounces of brown rice daily.
Brown rice has good fiber content and is rich in Vitamin B, phosphorus, magnesium, and many other minerals. On top of that, it is readily available, and just like oats, brown rice is also versatile, and you can make a lot of dishes with it.
And you can cook it just like the usual white rice. You can make fried rice, one-pot rice, pilaf, lip-smacking biryani or jollify rice, congee, etc. If you are a dessert lover, you can also make some rice pudding.
It has already become famous as a superfood. This native grain from South America is loaded with fibers and proteins. Consuming quinoa daily can do wonders for your health. It can lower your total cholesterol, maintain your health, and even help you lose weight! It is also rich in potassium and may even lower your blood pressure, which is often related to high cholesterol!
The Whole Grain Council has also described it as a complete protein food with nine essential amino acids! On top of that, it also has a high protein to crabs ratio. It also helps to control your hunger pangs and keeps you fuller for longer.
Due to its firm and chewy texture, you can eat both hot and cold quinoa. While the quinoa salad is a staple, there are many other cooking ways. You can make quinoa porridge, cakes from eth quinoa flour, sniffed vegetables with quinoa, etc.
Barley is also another grain that is enriched with Beta-glucan. That means it can also control your blood cholesterol naturally if consumed daily. A recent five-week study on 18 men who eat a diet of 20% barley gave positive results. The participants had 20% lower cholesterol, 24% Less LDL cholesterol, and 18% more good cholesterol after five weeks.
Barley is available in different forms like pearl barley, hulled barley, flakes, and grits. If you want an alternative breakfast option, barley flakes are great. You can cook whole grain or pearl barley and make salsa from it. On top of that, replacing regular flour with barley flour is also a great idea.
Rye, a type of grass grain, is also known to have cholesterol-lowering properties. This is a native grain from Scandinavia, and people there have been making rye braid for ages. It also keeps you fuller for longer and has a good percentage of dietary fiber. You can make rye bread with rye flour. Besides that, you can eat whole grains as a substitute for rice or oats.
Rye berries for whole grains are like wheat berries and can be a great addition to soups and salads. You can boil rye berries for 45-60 minutes quickly. Rye chops or cracked rye can also be used to make porridge. Similarly, rye flakes can also be used as a substitute for oats.
It is possible to lower cholesterol levels naturally by changing your diet. Whole grain foods have beneficial properties and can naturally lower cholesterol levels. Here are five whole grains that you can include in your regular diet to control your blood cholesterol level. On top of that, these grains are also versatile, and you can make different dishes. But, while including these grains, you need to make sure that you choose organic and unfiltered options. On top of that, also prevent consuming excessive amount of oils while making the dishes. Please remember that you also need to exercise and maintain a balanced diet to decrease your cholesterol level.
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