Who isn’t attracted to oily, junk food? And cheese-dripping burgers to crispy French fries and pipping hot pakoras can bring anyone to their knees.

But guess what? These lip-smacking junk food and their likes are the root cause of the most pressing food-linked health issue — High Cholesterol level. An increased cholesterol level leads to the formation of plaque in your artery walls, making them narrower. This makes it hard for the blood to flow through them, and over time, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol travels around the body by different ‘carriers’, also termed lipoproteins. The two most common are:

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol: Also called the ‘bad’ cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is ‘bad’ because if you have too much, it gets stuck to the walls of your arteries.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol: The ‘good’ cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is ‘good’ because it gets rid of ‘bad’ cholesterol from your blood vessels.

However, you can naturally keep cholesterol levels under control by maintaining a healthy diet and eating certain foods that are good for your health. Here’s a list of seven healthy foods that you should include in your regular diet to keep the cholesterol levels under check and your heart hale and hearty.

Spinach

Being a kitchen’s favorite, Spinach contains carotenoids, which are lower in cholesterol that binds the bile acid and helps reduce the cholesterol level.

Oats

Having a bowlful of oats can decrease the bad cholesterol levels as it possesses soluble fibers. Plus, it also keeps you full for a longer time.

Fish

Salmon, mackerel, and sardines contain Omega-3 that reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and regulate the heart’s rhythm. Omega-3 also helps lower the LDL levels significantly.

Soy

Studies say having 25 grams of soy protein every day can lower the LDL level by 5 to 6 per cent. Soybeans and soy products, such as tofu, soy milk, and soy yogurt are not only yummy to taste but quite healthy too.

Nuts

Nuts like peanuts, almonds, and walnuts keep your heart sound and LDL levels in check.

Apple

Eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away, heard that? Indeed. Since apples contain pectin, it helps in bringing down the high LDL levels.

Beans & legumes:

Have beans and legumes enriched with soluble fibre rather than meat. They help in reducing the bad cholesterol aka LDL.

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