It would be cool if you could check the health of your veins and arteries just by looking in the mirror, but life doesn’t work that way. Instead, we need to develop healthy eating habits to help keep our insides in tip-top shape. In my Natural Solutions article, I shared several surprising ways you can you manage your blood cholesterol levels, such as including foods with Malaysian sustainable palm oil in your diet. Research has shown that palm oil’s tocotrienols may reduce serum cholesterol levels, and help the liver moderate the amount of cholesterol it produces.
What we know about cholesterol has drastically changed over the years. Recent studies have shown that dietary cholesterol may not be a direct cause of heart disease. But that doesn’t mean we can eat whatever we want without consequences. Serum cholesterol levels do play a role in peripheral arterial disease, linked to heart attack and stroke risk, and xanthomas, yellowish skin patches.
Surprising dietary swaps for the cholesterol-savvy:
- Look for foods with Malaysian sustainable palm oil. Palm oil is nature’s richest source of vitamin E tocotrienols which research suggests may significantly reduce total serum cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. Studies have also shown that Malaysian sustainable palm oil may help the liver normalize the amount of cholesterol it produces. Foods with palm oil may be getting easier to find since some food manufacturers are using it to replace harmful partially hydrogenated oils in their products. Not only is Malaysian sustainable palm oil naturally trans fat free, it’s also non-GMO.
- Add garlic, instead of salt to foods. Some studies have shown that garlic may help reduce blood cholesterol by up to four percent. While this is still an emerging area of research, adding a few crushed cloves of garlic to your meals is certainly a flavorful experiment.
- Munch on nuts instead of crackers. Research suggests that including 1.5 ounces of nuts in a healthy diet may reduce the risk of heart disease. As a reminder, healthy fats should comprise 25 to 35 percent of the calories in a healthy diet.