Every day we are amazed at what our bodies can do when we feed them the proper, unprocessed, non-GMO, nutrient-packed foods. This miraculous system of ours can turn food as it was meant to be into a powerhouse of fuel, regeneration, healing, and health. This should never cease to astonish us as we learn more and more about ourselves and our relationship with raw food.
Our diets and what we eat are crucial aspects of maintaining our optimal health and development at any age. Our diets can even determine and affect our cholesterol levels, keeping them within a healthy range or shooting them into a dangerous one. Lowering cholesterol means lowering the risk of many health issues, including heart attack and stroke.
Want to know about the best natural nutrition for lowering cholesterol? We’re so excited you’re here! Let us tell you all about them! Did you know that certain raw foods can help?
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in every cell within our body. Our body needs some cholesterol to help us make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help us digest our foods. Our body makes all the cholesterol it needs, while other cholesterol sources can be found in animals, egg yolks, and cheese.
However, if you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can begin to combine with other substances to form plaque. Plaque can start to stick to the walls of our arteries if they are damaged by inflammation and free radicals. This buildup is called atherosclerosis and can lead to coronary artery disease, where arteries become narrowed or even blocked.
There are a variety of things that can raise your risk of high cholesterol.
- Your cholesterol tends to rise as you get older. Though less common, younger people, including children and teens, can also have high cholesterol.
- Unhealthy eating habits include a diet full of bad fats like saturated fat found in meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, deep-fried foods, and processed foods.
- Being overweight or having obesity raises the cholesterol level
- Sometimes, high cholesterol is hereditary, thanks to genetics within the family.
Which is the ‘Bad’ Cholesterol that Should be Lowered?
The main culprit for higher levels is called LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. It has been established as one of the top risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease, and lowering LDL with lifestyle changes and diet has been scientifically shown to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
Current guidelines(1) developed by the AHA (American Heart Association), the ACC (American College of Cardiology), and many other professional organizations recommend lowering elevated LDL levels to 70 milligrams per deciliter in people who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
How Does Raw Food Lower LDL?
Different foods can help you lower your cholesterol in many different ways. Some of these foods deliver what is called soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and includes plant pectin and gums. Soluble fiber binds to cholesterol and its precursors in our digestive system and then drags them out of the body before they can get into our circulation. Some raw foods give us polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats are fat molecules with more than one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule, also called a double bond. Our livers find it much easier to process polyunsaturated fats, turning them into ketones instead of LDL, and are transported around our bodies without leaving a trail of lipoprotein behind.(2)
The Best Raw Food to Lower Cholesterol
Recommended daily fiber intake women should aim for is at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should try to get 30 to 38 grams of fiber per day.
Top Fiber Raw Fruits
- A single avocado can pack at least 5 grams of fiber.
- 1 cup of raspberries holds 8 grams of total fiber
- A single medium pear grants 5 grams of fiber
- Eating a medium-sized apple with its skin gives you 5 grams of fiber
- A single medium-sized banana is the equivalent of 3 grams of fiber
- 1 medium orange will provide you 3 grams of fiber
- 1 cup of strawberries is 3 grams of fiber
Top Fiber Raw Vegetables
- About 1 cup of uncooked peas is 7 grams of fiber
- 1 cup of turnips packs 5 grams of fiber, 4 of it soluble
- 1 cup of chopped carrots can contain up to 5 grams of fiber
- A single cup of Brussels Sprouts contains 4 grams of fiber
- 1 average-sized sweet potato can hold up to 4 grams of fiber
- 1 cup of raw broccoli holds about 5 to 3 grams of fiber
Top Fiber Raw Seeds or Nuts
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds is the equivalent of 10 grams of fiber.
- Just 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds can add up to 5 grams of fiber
- 1/4th cup of sunflower seeds contains 1 gram of fiber
- 1 ounce of almonds comes with 3 grams of fiber.
- 1 cup of pecans can hold 10 grams of fiber
Other sources outside of Raw food that can lower cholesterol
Changing to a primary raw diet to lower cholesterol at first might be a lot for you. We understand. Introduce these raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts into your everyday diet slowly to help you detoxify and transition. Additionally, one of the best ways to begin is to slowly ween yourself away from unhealthy fats.
Begin replacing unhealthy fats with polyunsaturated fats.Replace cooking with butter, lard, or shortening and replace your regular oils with either soybean oil, corn oil, or sunflower oil, for example. Moreover, omega-3 fatty acid supplements can assist you as well as these are essential and healthy fats our body cannot produce on its own, not to mention the wealth of other body-boosting effects omega-3s have on our entire bodies too.
Shifting to a diet that benefits your cholesterol is entirely possible once you know the power that can be harnessed from healthful, unprocessed foods. We hope you’ll try adding these best raw foods for lowering cholesterol into your daily meals and enjoy reaping the natural benefits today!