Making Healthy Eating Better
One of the best things you can do for your cholesterol levels is to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only do these foods have no dietary cholesterol that can raise your bad cholesterol levels, but some fruits and vegetables have been linked to lowering cholesterol in patients. Research studies have proven numerous times that one of the best things you can do for yourself if you are worried about your cholesterol level is to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.
Studies also often show that North Americans eat far less fresh fruits and vegetables than they should eat, a fact that has often been suggested as a key cause for the higher cholesterol levels and heart disease levels - not to mention the higher rates of obesity - that North Americans face. To put it simply, those nations that eat more fruits, vegetables, and grains are healthier - and have lower cholesterol levels as a whole.
As an added bonus, you do not have to worry as much about eating too many fruits and vegetables. While you do not want to overeat, you can eat far more fresh fruits and vegetables than meat products and remain heart healthy. You can only eat small portions of animal products before you have to worry about cholesterol content. With vegetables and fruits, there is no such worry. If you have always felt deprived while following low-fat diets in the past, you can avoid this in the future simply by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.
Increasing your intake of fresh (not canned, not poached, not sweetened or boiled) fruits and vegetables significantly should be your first goal as you try to lower your cholesterol over the next 30 days.
One of the easiest ways to introduce more fruits and vegetables into the diet is to eat different types of fruits and vegetables. When most of us think of “veggies” we think only of a few. In fact, there are many types of delicious fresh produce out there that can create spectacular meals while lowering your cholesterol. Consider all the vegetables you may not have tried yet (please note that this list is not complete - there are too many vegetables to list here.
Please note that some of these vegetables may be classified as fruits:
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Beans (there are many different kinds of beans, from black beans, borlotti beans, broad beans, chickpeas, green beans, kidney beans, runner beans, soy beans, red beans, mung beans, navy beans, lima beans to azuki beans, and many others)
- Bean sprouts
- Peas (again, there are many delicious brands of peas, many which you likely have not tried before. These may include snow peas, green peas, sugar snap peas, and many others)
- Beets and beet greens
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Cabbage (there are many kinds, ranging from red and green to Chinese cabbage and others)
- Fennel (whole fennel, not just the seeds, can be used in cooking)
- Lemon grass
- Lettuce (if you have always eaten iceberg lettuce, you will be stunned by the range of lettuces out there, including Bibb and many others)
- Mushrooms (although mushrooms are usually served alongside vegetables, it is a fungus. There are many types of mushrooms, from the common to the exotic, and they can easily be bought fresh or dried to add flavor to just about every meal)
- Mustard greens
- OkraPeppers (from hot peppers like the habanero and others to sweet green, orange, yellow and red peppers, these vegetables are very good for you and extremely tasty)
- Turnip and turnip greens
- Squashes (there are many of these, from butternut to acorn to pumpkins and gourds. Also be sure to try gem squash and spaghetti squash)
- Tomatoes (these range from hot house tomatoes to cherry and grape tomatoes - their taste, not just their size, differs)
- Potatoes (from yams and sweet potatoes to new potatoes, red potatoes, and others, these vegetables present an almost infinite variety)
- Water chestnuts
Consider also all the fresh fruits you may not have tried yet:
- Apples (there is an almost infinite variety of these, some quite rare.
Try the following varieties:
- Akane, Arlet, Blushing Golden, Braeburn, Centennial Crab, Chieftain, Cortland, Empire, Empress, Fuji, Gala, Honey Crisp, Jonagold, Kandil Sinap, Liberty, Mantet, Mcintosh, Mutsu,
- Northern Spy, Patricia, Red Astrachan, Red Secor, Russet, Starr, Virginia Gold, Yataka, Yellow Transparent, Wilson Juicy, and the many others available at your grocery store and farmer’s market)
- Bananas (try Fruit Bananas, Apple Bananas, Baby Bananas, Baking Bananas, Red bananas, and others)
- Berries (besides the usual strawberries and raspberries, there are dewberries, boysenberries, loganberries, cloudberries, wineberries, bearberries, bilberries, blueberries, cranberries, huckleberries, lingonberries, barberries, currants, elderberries, gooseberries, nannyberries, sea grapes, crowberries, and others)
- Cherries (from sour cherries, Monmorency cherries, and sweet cherries such as Black Russians, Chinooks, Lapins, Hedelfingers, and others)
- Grapes (there are many, many kinds, ranging from pale greens to very deep purples)
- Lemons and Limes
- Lychee fruits
- Melons (Red water, Canary, Canteloupe, Cassava, Honeydew, Watermelon, and others)
- Passion Fruits
- Peaches (including Encore, Reliance, Red Haven, and Sensation Dwarf Peach, among others)
- Pears (including Asian pears, Beirschmidt, Bartlett, and others)
- Plums (including Mt. Royal Plum, Opal, Stanley Prune_Plum, Unize Plum, Dietz, Empress Prune_Plum, Starking Delicious Plum, and many others
- Star Fruit
- Ugli Fruits
Are there fruits and vegetables on this list that you have not tried? There likely are. The fact is, most of us have tried only a small fraction of the fruits and vegetables that are out there. When we say that we “don’t like” fruits and vegetables or when we say that we “grow tired” of them, what we are really saying is that we do not have enough variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in our diet.
Look back over the list of fruits and vegetables - treat it like a checklist of the food adventures you could have with food. Which foods sound exotic or interesting? Take a chance today and pick up some fresh fruits or vegetables that you have never tried before. Your taste buds and your cholesterol level will thank you for it. Realize that these lists of fruits and vegetables is far from complete - it is only a way to get you started in discovering new fruits and vegetables. Make it a mission to find new and exciting fruits and vegetables that you can enjoy fresh to lower your cholesterol.
The secret to low-fat eating is to make eating the right foods as attractive as possible. When you have many types of healthy and delicious foods to choose from, you will naturally choose foods that are good for you and for your heart. Introducing a huge variety of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet is one sure way to do this.
Over the next 30 days, use this list of fruits and vegetables. Print the list and circle all the fruits and vegetables you have not tried. Make it a mission to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables you have not tried.
In fact, every week, find a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables you have not tried and try them. Read about new varieties of fruits and vegetables and try them as well. This will add variety to your diet and make it much easier to eat plenty of the foods you need to lower your cholesterol and stay healthy.
Click the following link to learn how you can lower cholesterol naturally.