First, let's start with the obvious: what is cholesterol? It is a fat-like substance found in every cell of the body. The cholesterol in your cells is used to create structure for cell walls, help with digestion, and produce vitamin D. It also helps make hormones such as estrogen and testosterone.
It should be noted that not all cholesterol is bad! HDL cholesterol is regarded as good cholesterol because it helps remove bad cholesterol (LDL) from the arteries to the liver where it's broken down and eventually leaves the body. Our bodies could use a little help in reducing the bad cholesterol, and these three foods are your best bet to do just that!
Coconut oil is full of saturated fats, which isn't as bad as it sounds. The saturated fat in coconut oil can help raise the good cholesterol and lower the bad while also keeping you energized and focused throughout your day!
Walnuts are one of the most nutritious nuts around. They contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help increase your (HDL) good cholesterol by slowing down the growth of plaque into the arteries. Plus, they can even prevent blood clots that can lead to strokes or heart attacks, a win-win.
Hemp seeds are a great source of essential fatty acids (good fat) which our bodies do not produce, so it is important to eat foods containing them since they can also help prevent build-up of plaque in the arteries. The best part? They're so easy to add to almost any meal!
Curious what your own cholesterol levels may be? EverlyWell has a Cholesterol & Lipids At-Home Health Test that measures your LDL (bad cholesterol) AND your HDL (good cholesterol)! If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, an under-active thyroid, or have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, you should definitely look into having your cholesterol levels checked. Your health depends on it!