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This popular green food contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in dark green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Lutein already has a reputation for guarding against age-related macular degeneration , a leading cause of blindness. Now research suggests that just ½ cup of a lutein-rich food daily also guards against heart attacks by helping artery walls "shrug off" cholesterol invaders that cause clogging. Look for bags of baby spinach leaves that you can use for salads or pop in the microwave for a quick side dish.
While reducing the amount of sugar you eat and getting your sugar from natural sources, such as fruit, can be the biggest contributors to lowering your risk for cholesterol-related heart disease, the general population should still follow common-sense recommendations for good heart health, says Dr. Baum. “I always go back to a very simplistic approach for treating cholesterol – that balance is key. I would suggest that you maintain an optimal weight, exercise on a regular basis, and eat a balanced, healthful diet of natural foods, predominantly of vegetables, chicken, fish and small quantities of lean cuts of meat. Stay away from the hormones, artificial ingredients and processed foods, especially the cookies, cakes, candies and ice creams.