To Lower High Cholesterol Levels, Switch to the Pan-Asian Mediterranean Diet
The number one way I know of to lower your high cholesterol levels is to eat well. But what type of diet is best if you’re trying to achieve optimal cholesterol levels?
I’m a big believer in what I call the Pan-Asian Mediterranean (PAM) diet —a combination of the diet followed by the people on the Greek island of Crete (also known as the Mediterranean diet) and a diet common among people living on the Asian side of the Pacific Rim.
The Cretan diet is a “primitive” diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fresh fish, various kinds of beans, monounsaturated olive oil, and sauces occasionally flavored with some lamb, turkey, or chicken. The diet favored around the Pacific Rim is bountiful with fish, fresh vegetables and fruits, locally harvested seaweeds, and soy products and can help lower high cholesterol levels.
What makes both of these diets so beneficial to cardiovascular health in general is that they are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fats. And what makes them particularly good at lowering high cholesterol levels is that they are both high in fiber.
Soluble fiber helps prevent the absorption of cholesterol. It essentially soaks cholesterol up into a gelatin-like form, which your body can’t absorb, and insoluble fiber helps to cleanse the colon and decrease the transit time through the intestines, so more cholesterol is eliminated.
On my PAM diet, you’ll get plenty of both of these types of cholesterol-lowering fiber—at least 30 grams per day.
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