I like to think that the best food for heart health is one that you enjoy eating while preventing disease and promoting health. Fortunately, there are so many heart healthy foods out there that keep your arteries clear, you can literally take your pick. I’ve compiled a list of foods, spices, and herbs that you can integrate liberally into a heart healthy diet.
Here’s My Go-To List of Heart Healthy Foods
You probably have one of my favorite cholesterol-fighting foods in your pantry right now: oats. They’re a wonderful source of soluble fiber, a nutrient which helps your lower your LDL levels (aka “bad” cholesterol”). A serving of rolled oats or steel cut oats has about three grams of soluble fiber per serving. Aim to consume at least eight grams of soluble fiber per day.
2. Whole Grains
Keep in mind, you should be integrating about 25-30 grams of total fiber into your heart healthy diet every day. Barley, buckwheat,quinoa, wheat berries, spelt — any whole or “ancient” grain is going to pack more fiber per serving than refined sources of carbohydrates. Swap out your white flour consumption with whole wheat, and you’ll see your total cholesterol levels drop by an average of 4.6%.
There’s a reason why beans can be found in culinary traditions all around the world: they are cheap, accessible, versatile, and delicious. They also happen to be a great source of soluble fiber. If you’re forgoing red meat in an effort to lower your cholesterol levels, whether you choose lima, pinto, kidney black, lentils, or chickpea, beans are a great food to incorporate into your diet to get your protein and iron.
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