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10 Makanan Untuk Menghindari Kolestrol


Memilih makanan yang tepat adalah salah satu bagian penting dari pola hidup sehat. Ada baiknya Anda tak sekedar memilih atau mengonsumsi bahan-bahan pangan yang bernutrisi tinggi, tetapi juga bermanfaat lebih bagi kesehatan seperti mengandung zat-zat yang dapat mengikis lemak jahat.
Berikut ini adalah 10 bahan pangan yang patut dipilih dalam memenuhi kebutuhan gizi setiap hari. Selain padat akan nutrisi, makanan-makanan ini memiliki khasiat tambahan karena dapat menurunkan kadar lemak jahat atau kolesterol dalam tubuh Anda.
1.    Kedelai

Mengurangi lemak jenuh merupakan langkah terbaik untuk menurunkan kadar kolesterol. Ganti daging dan keju dengan makanan berbahan kedelai seperti tahu, tempe, susu kedelai. Kandungan isoflavon pada kedelai dapat membantu menurunkan LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) alias kolesterol jahat.
Lemak jenuh tidak baik untuk jantung karena hati menggunakan lemak jenuh untuk membuat kolesterol. Jadi mengonsumsi makanan kaya lemak jenuh dapat meningkatkan kadar kolesterol, terutama LDL. Konsumsi setidaknya 25 gram protein kedelai setiap harinya untuk membantu menurunkan kolesterol.
2.    Kacang-kacangan
Selain bekatul, kacang-kacangan kaya serat terutama yang larut, bisa membantu menurunkan kolesterol. Mengonsumsi satu cangkir segala jenis kacang-kacangan per hari, terutama kacang merah atau kacang pinto, dapat menurunkan kolesterol hingga 10 persen dalam enam minggu.
Untuk mendapat manfaat kesehatan terbaik, baik FDA dan Institut Kanker Nasional (NCI) Amerika Serikat merekomendasikan konsumsi 25-30 gram serat setiap harinya. Untuk kacang-kacangan, konsumsi lima porsi atau lebih setiap minggunya.
3.    Ikan salmon
Ikan salmon merupakan sumber protein terbaik karena tinggi asam lemak omega-3 yang disebut EPA dan DHA, yang baik untuk jantung. Selain itu, kandungan asam lemak omega-3 yang terkandung pada ikan salmon dan ikan air dingin lainnya dapat menurunkan kolesterol jahat (LDL), trigliserida, dan meningkatkan kadar kolesterol baik (HDL). Untuk mendapatkan omega-3, pilih ikan salmon, trout, herring, sardin, dan makerel. Asosiasi Jantung Amerika (AHA) merekomendasikan konsumsi ikan salmon setidaknya dua porsi seminggu.
4.    Alpukat
Alpukat merupakan sumber lemak tak jenuh tunggal yang baik dan dapat meningkatkan HDL. Selain itu, alpukat juga mengandung betasitosterol yang dapat mengurangi jumlah kolesterol yang diserap dari makanan. Kombinasi betasitosterol dan lemak tak jenuh tunggal membuat alpukat merupakan makanan yang baik untuk memecah kolesterol.
Meski begitu, alpukat mempunyai kalori yang sedikit tinggi. Untuk itu, jangan menambahkan alpukat dengan campuran makanan tinggi lemak. Asosiasi Jantung Amerika (AHA) merekomendasikan 15 persen kalori harian diambil dari lemak tak jenuh tunggal seperti yang terkandung pada alpukat. Ini sama artinya dengan 30 gram lemak tak jenuh tunggal. Sebagai gambaran, satu buah alpukat mengandung 300 kalori dan 30 gram lemak.
5.    Bawang putih
Penelitian menunjukkan bahwa bawang putih dapat menurunkan kadar kolesterol, mencegah penggumpalan dan menurunkan tekanan darah, serta melindungi tubuh terhadap infeksi. Namun, penelitian lain juga membuktikan bahwa bawang putih dapat menghentikan plak pada arteri pada tahap awal. Untuk mendapatkan manfaat kesehatan, konsumsi 2-4 siung bawang putih segar setiap hari.
6.    Bayam
Bayam banyak mengandung lutein, zat warna kuning yang ditemukan pada daun sayuran berwarna hijau dan kuning telur. Lutein memperlambat terjadinya kebutaan pada orangtua. Konsumsi setengah cangkir makanan kaya lutein setiap hari dapat mencegah terjadinya serangan jantung.
7.    Margarin
Ada dua jenis margarin yang dapat membantu menurunkan kadar kolesterol, yaitu Take Control dan Benecol. Sayangnya, margarin ini sepertinya belum beredar luas di Indonesia.
Margarin Take Control dibuat dari sterol tumbuhan yang terbukti dapat menurunkan kadar kolesterol total dan LDL hingga 14 persen. Begitu juga dengan margarin Benecol yang bekerja seperti Take Control, tapi ada efek samping yang ditimbulkan kedua margarin tersebut, yaitu mengurangi penyerapan betakaroten.
8.    Kacang walnut, mete, dan almond
Diet lemak secara moderat yang kaya akan lemak tak jenuh tunggal pada kacang, dua kali lebih baik untuk jantung Anda daripada diet rendah lemak. Kacang juga mengandung vitamin E, magnesium, tembaga, dan fitokemikal yang berhubungan dengan kesehatan jantung. Walnut juga kaya akan omega-3.
Karena kacang tersebut tinggi kalori, sebaiknya konsumsi dalam jumlah moderat. Simpan kacang yang sudah dipotong dalam lemari pendingin. Taburkan sebanyak dua sendok makan pada sereal, salad, ataupun yoghurt. Konsumsi dua sendok makan kacang cincang lima kali atau segenggam kecil sebagai makanan selingan 3-4 kali seminggu.
9.    Teh
Teh mempunyai kandungan antioksidan. Beberapa penelitian membuktikan bahwa teh menjaga kelenturan pembuluh darah dan mencegah penggumpalan darah. Flavonoid, antioksidan utama pada the, terbukti mampu mencegah terjadinya oksidasi LDL yang dapat membentuk plak pada dinding arteri. Antioksidan juga dapat menurunkan kolesterol dan tekanan darah. Sebaiknya konsumsi satu cangkir teh setiap hari.
10.    Cokelat
Untuk mendapat efek terhadap kesehatan jantung, pilihlah cokelat hitam atau yang tidak manis. Dibandingkan dengan cokelat susu, cokelat hitam mengandung tiga kali lebih banyak flavonoid yang merupakan antioksidan. Cokelat putih tidak mengandung flavonoid.
Makan satu ounce (28,3 gram) cokelat setiap hari akan meningkatkan kolesterol HDL dan mencegah oksidasi kolesterol jahat. Ingat, jangan terlalu banyak, kalau tidak mau berat badan bertambah.