Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen

Foods That Help Lower Cholesterol & Protect Your Heart

 

 

 

Heart disease is nothing to ignore. Here are some foods that will help lower your cholesterol naturally and protect your heart.

 

Foods That Help Lower Cholesterol & Protect Your Heart

February is American Heart Month and if you read my newsletter earlier this month, there is some valuable information from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention on who is at risk and what signs to look for if you or someone you love is suffering from a heart attack or event.

I personally struggle with familial high cholesterol, a family history of heart attacks and diabetes and Mitral Valve Prolapse; which is a heart problem in which the valve that separates the upper and lower chambers of the left side of the heart does not close properly.  At it’s highest, my cholesterol has reached 292 (normal limits are below 200) so my cardiologist put me on a statin. However, after being on a certain brand for several months, I couldn’t walk.  I am in the minute category of people that can’t take certain statin drugs as it causes debilitating side effects.

My cardiologist (who happens to be Greek) suggested following the Mediterranean diet as much as I could; which was a breeze since I tend to follow the diet on a regular basis anyway (minus the fish of course); however he also wanted me to omit all corn products as corn is genetically modified and is considered a starchy vegetable which is not part of the diet. I tried this for 3 months and though my cholesterol did get down to 260, it just wasn’t enough to get me below the danger level.  We’re going to do a combination of following the diet, as well as try another brand of statin and hope for the best.

The main thing is to continue to eat healthy and incorporate the following foods into my diet as much as possible. Though my numbers didn’t decrease as much as I would have liked them to, they did decrease strictly on diet alone and I’d hate to see how high my cholesterol would be if I didn’t regularly consume most of the items on this list. I truly believe that eating a balanced diet full of the right combination of foods, like those on the Mediterranean diet, are beneficial to heart health and help to protect your heart and lower your cholesterol.

Here are specific foods that give an extra healthy benefit when it comes to protecting the heart or help to lower cholesterol and should be incorporated into your diet for better heart health.

Protects the Heart

apples     artichokes     bananas     beets     blueberries     broccoli     cabbage     carrots     cherries     dark chocolate     *grapefruit     grapes     fish     flax     green tea     kale      lemon     limes     oatmeal     olive oil     onions     oranges     peanuts     pomegranate     potatoes     red wine     soy     spinach     strawberries     tomatoes

Lowers Cholesterol

artichokes     avocado     beans     cantaloupe     dark chocolate     figs     fish     garlic     *grapefruit    mushrooms     oats     onions     peanuts     prunes     soy     spinach     tea     tomatoes     nuts     watermelon     wheat germ     wheat bran     yogurt

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you sacrifice flavor. In fact, read my article on Common Herbs Used in Mediterranean-style Cooking. Try some new herbs in your recipes that you haven’t tried before instead of using dried herbs, it will completely change the flavor of your dish. Incorporate some of these heart healthy recipes into your diet today and as always, consult a physician before changing your diet or start a new exercise program.

Cinnamon Apple Chips | Carrie's Experimental Kitchen #apples

Cinnamon Apple Chips

Vegetarian Bean Chili Closeup

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Three Bean Chili

Oven Roasted Balsamic-Rosemary Beets closeup

Oven Roasted Balsamic Rosemary Beets

Honey Lime Glazed Carrots | Carrie's Experimental Kitchen #carrots

Honey Lime Glazed Carrots

spinach, pear & mint smoothie-cek

Spinach, Pear & Mint Smoothie (Flaxseed)

Mushrooms Vittoria (Copycat)-closeup

Mushrooms Vittoria

 Share YOUR favorite heart healthy recipes below! 

*If you’re currently taking medication, check the restrictions before consuming grapefruit.


4 Comments

  1. Nettie Moore
    February 22, 2015 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Thank you for posting this Carrie, I didn’t know a lot of these on the list, I am going to be making more of them. I hope you are doing well and always love seeing your posts! Nettie

    • carrieexpktchn@optonline.net
      February 22, 2015 at 11:35 am - Reply

      Thanks so much Nettie! I’m glad you found the post helpful. I was intrigued by a few on the list as well and will be incorporating more of them into my diet. Hope you’re hanging in there with all the snow. xoxo

  2. Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts
    February 22, 2015 at 10:40 am - Reply

    A very interesting article. I am sharing this on twitter as part of #womenlives.
    I didn’t realise until very recently that heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined!
    A great list of foods, will be pinning this into my healthy eating pinterest boards.

    • carrieexpktchn@optonline.net
      February 22, 2015 at 11:36 am - Reply

      The numbers are staggering and people aren’t as informed as they should be. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing Claire!

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