Monday, December 7, 2009

Heart Healthy Snacks

I just finished a healthy snack of unsweetened oatmeal with cinnamon.   Why oatmeal? 

The results of an extensive blood panel showed that my LDL (bad) cholesterol is too high.  My good cholesterol (HDL) is too low. 

How can a snack of oatmeal impact my cholesterol counts?

Besides being filling; oat bran is an important source of water soluble fiber.  Oats have long been recognized as a potential cholesterol lowering dietary choice.   The soluble fiber found in oats binds with the bile acids in the intestines to block cholesterol absorption. Studies have also shown that the antioxidants found in oats prevent white blood cells from sticking to the artery walls.  Thereby, preventing plaque formation.

What does that mean?   Oat bran will help lower my LDL count and increase my HDL.  

Here are some additional food choices to improve your LDL and HDL cholesterol counts:

  • Nuts and seeds.   

    • Sunflower seeds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, pine nuts, flaxseeds and almonds are high in plants sterols which can help reduce LDL.   Beware.   Limit your intake to approximately 1/4 cup per day.  They contain calories, too.

  • "An apple a day keeps the Doctor away."
    • Research has shown that eating two apples a day can slow down the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and help prevent plaque buildup.  But don't peel your apples.   The protective antioxidants are found in the apple skin.
  • Grapefruits.
    • Studies has shown that pink and red grapefruits are powerful in lowering LDL levels.   But, check with your doctor if you are on any statin or channel blocking medications.  Grapefruits can interfere with the breakdown of these medications.
Living a WOO HOO Life together!

'Til next time.    Believe.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We reserve the right to remove comments with profanity, personal attacks, spam, overt advertisements or other inappropriate material.