Amateur chef, Jorge Plaza Marquez, has dedicated his career to creating delicious and nutritious recipes that meet specific dietary requirements. He is a strong advocate for healthy living. Having overcome health disorders himself, Marquez is on a mission to help people access cleaner, purer and healthier foods in a bid to overhaul their ill-conceived food habits.
Today, the Miami-based chef has some valuable insights to share on low-cholesterol foods and whether they have any significant benefits.
“High cholesterol levels are strongly linked to heart disease,” Jorge Plaza Marquez elaborates. “Your diet has a huge effect on LDL, also referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol. The key to reducing cholesterol is to replace processed food and refined grains with leafy greens.”
The chef goes on to explain that beans, peas, and lentils are a great starter. In fact, studies show that consuming ½ cup of legumes every day can lower LDL by at least 6.6 mg/dl.
“Almonds and walnuts, or all nuts for that matter are great to combat LDL,” Jorge Plaza Marquez points out. “These types of foods are rich in monounsaturated fats. Walnuts, in particular, boast of omega-2 fatty acids which are proven to have positive effects on the heart.”
The chef makes an excellent point. Numerous randomized studies have proven that eating even 2 ounces of nuts per day lowers LDL by as much as 5%. The nutrients in nuts protect the heart in a plethora of ways.
To this point, Marquez also explains that nuts are high in L-arginine which is an amino acid that assists your body in creating nitric oxide; a colorless gas that regulates blood pressure.
“Not many people know this but fish like mackerel and salmon are also great at keeping cholesterol at bay,” Jorge Plaza Marquez reveals. “Rich in omega-3 acids, these boost HLD or ‘good’ cholesterol and lower the risk of inflammations and strokes.”
“Look into citrus fruits while you’re at it,” the chef reminds us. “Apples, grapes, and strawberries are also a good option. These fruits produce pectin, a soluble fiber that lowers LDL.”
The chef follows this up by explaining that, naturally, these foods have different effects based on the person’s individual constitution, hence, drawing broad strokes and expecting the same results across the board is unwise.
“You want to try new foods in moderation,” explains Jorge Plaza Marquez. “Anything introduced abruptly to your diet can shock the body. I always say, when in doubt, visit a nutritionist. You don’t want to do more harm than good.”
More on Jorge Plaza Marquez
The Miami local constantly forages domestic and foreign markets in the hopes of discovering new herbs and spices that are delicious and chock-full of nutrients. Marquez has fine-tuned his palette with interesting recipes like sofrito, vegan cream sauces, gluten-free blueberry tartlets, and herbed bone broths.
He puts texture and flavor at the top of his list of priorities when in the kitchen. Besides his food endeavors, Marquez is a strong fitness advocate and regularly shares interesting workout tips to help people pursue a happier and healthier lifestyle.