Every day we are amazed at what our bodies can do when we feed them the right foods, unprocessed, GMO-free and full of nutrients. This miraculous system of ours can turn food as it should into a power of fuel, regeneration, healing and health. This should come as no surprise to us as we learn more and more about ourselves and our relationship with raw foods.
Our diets and what we eat are crucial aspects to maintaining our optimal health and development at any age. Our diets can even determine and affect our cholesterol levels, keeping them within a healthy range or making them dangerous. Lowering cholesterol means reducing the risk of many health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
Want to know the best natural diet to lower cholesterol? We are so excited to have you here! We tell you all about them! Did you know that certain raw foods can help?
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in every cell in our body. Our body needs some cholesterol to help us produce hormones, vitamin D and substances that help us digest our food. Our body makes all the cholesterol it needs, while other sources of cholesterol can be found in animals, egg yolks and cheeses.
However, if you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can start to combine with other substances to form plaque. Plaque can start to stick to the walls of our arteries if they are damaged by inflammation and free radicals. This buildup is called atherosclerosis and can lead to coronary artery disease, where the arteries narrow or even become blocked.
There are a variety of things that can increase the risk of high cholesterol.
- Your cholesterol tends to increase as you age. Although less common, younger people, including children and adolescents, may also have high cholesterol.
- Unhealthy eating habits include a diet full of bad fats such as saturated fat found in meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, fried foods and processed foods.
- Being overweight or obese increases your cholesterol level
- High cholesterol is sometimes inherited, thanks to genetics within the family.
What is the “bad” cholesterol that should be lowered?
The main culprit for higher levels is called LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol. It has been established as a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease, and it has been scientifically proven that lowering LDL with lifestyle and diet changes reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Current guidelines(1) developed by the AHA (American Heart Association), the ACC (American College of Cardiology), and many other professional organizations recommend lowering high LDL levels to 70 milligrams per deciliter in people at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
How do raw foods lower LDL?
Different foods can help lower cholesterol in many different ways. Some of these foods provide what is called soluble fiber. The soluble fiber dissolves in water and includes vegetable pectin and gums. Soluble fiber binds to cholesterol and its precursors in our digestive system and then drags them out of the body before they can enter our circulation. Some raw foods provide us with polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats are fat molecules with more than one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule, also called a double bond. In our livers it is much easier to process polyunsaturated fats, turning them into ketones instead of LDL, and they are transported through our body without leaving a trace of lipoproteins.(2)
The best raw food to lower cholesterol
The recommended daily fiber intake for women is at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should try to get 30 to 38 grams of fiber per day.
Top fiber raw fruits
- A single avocado can pack at least 5 grams of fiber.
- 1 cup raspberries contains 8 grams of total fiber
- A single average pear gives 5 grams of fiber
- Eating a medium-sized apple with its skin gives you 5 grams of fiber
- A single medium-sized banana is the equivalent of 3 grams of fiber
- 1 medium orange will give you 3 grams of fiber
- 1 cup strawberries is 3 grams of fiber
Top fiber raw vegetables
- About 1 cup of raw peas is 7 grams of fiber
- 1 cup of turnips includes 5 grams of fiber, 4 of them soluble
- 1 cup chopped carrots can hold up to 5 grams of fiber
- A single cup of Brussels sprouts contains 4 grams of fiber
- 1 medium-sized sweet potato can hold up to 4 grams of fiber
- 1 cup raw broccoli contains 5 to 3 grams of fiber
Top fiber seeds or nuts
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds equals 10 grams of fiber.
- Only 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed can add up to 5 grams of fiber
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds contains 1 gram of fiber
- 1 ounce of almonds comes with 3 grams of fiber.
- 1 cup of pecans can contain 10 grams of fiber
Other sources than raw foods that can lower cholesterol
Switching to a primary raw diet to lower cholesterol in the beginning can be a lot for you. We understand. Slowly introduce these raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts into your daily diet to help you detox and make the transition. Also, one of the best ways to get started is to slowly move away from unhealthy fats.
Start replacing unhealthy fats with polyunsaturated fats. Replace cooking with butter, butter, or butter and replace regular oils with soybean oil, corn oil, or sunflower oil, for example. In addition, omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help you as they are essential and healthy fats that our body cannot produce on its own, not to mention the wealth of other effects that increase the body omega-3 as well they have all over our body.
Switching to a cholesterol-boosting diet is entirely possible once you know the power that can be harnessed from healthy, unprocessed foods. We hope you try adding these best raw foods to lower your cholesterol to your daily meals and enjoy reaping the natural benefits today!