8. Avoid Sugar-Loaded Desserts
Say no to packaged and processed desserts that are loaded with empty calories and sugar, such as pastries, muffins, donuts and flavoured yogurts.
Research reveals that sugary desserts, such as a blueberry muffin, can raise your blood sugar levels to an alarming extent. And even the supposedly healthy and seemingly harmless treats, like granola bars, sweet beverages, dried cranberries and flavoured yogurt, can actually bring about a reduction in your good or HDL cholesterol levels.
A recent study revealed that individuals who consumed excessive amounts of added sugars had an alarmingly high reduction in their good or HDL cholesterol levels, while those who avoided sugar had the highest levels of HDL cholesterol, along with extremely low levels of triglycerides, which are basically fats present within the blood that are associated with heart ailments.
9. Steer Clear of Grapefruit
Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice could turn those statins you’re taking into health hazards. The culprit: furanocoumarins, compounds found in grapefruits, that affects how your body processes certain statins (tangelos and Seville oranges are off-limits, too). “They can lead to higher levels of statin drugs in the bloodstream and potentially cause toxicity,” warns Michos.
But if you’re not on cholesterol-lowering meds, grapefruit gets a thumbs-up. In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, people who ate a grapefruit a day for a month saw their LDL cholesterol fall as much as 15.5%, with red grapefruit doing better than white at lowering triglycerides.