The hardworking poor in ancient Egypt dined mostly on vegetables such as onions, garlic, leek, lentils, cabbage, radish, turnip, lupines, tomatoes and cucumber; fruits like figs, grapes and pomegranates; and proteins, including whole grains and some poultry.
Too bad the upper classes didn't stick with the same heart-loving diet. A study of mummies' cardio systems revealed that wealthy Egyptians ate a lot of fatty meats from cattle, geese and ducks, used plenty of salt for food preservation—and had loads of atherosclerosis.
So if you want to be smarter than King Tut ("Rockin' for a mile/ He ate a crocodile," sang Steve Martin), try these five foods to keep your lousy LDL cholesterol in check:
1. Aim for two to three servings per day of high-fiber whole grains such as steel-cut oats, barley and wheat. They help clear out LDL fats.
2. Other high-fiber foods are important: Legumes, like beans and peas, and vegetables such as okra and eggplant that are loaded with soluble fiber, do the job, too.
3. Pectin-containing fruits, like apples and citrus, help lower LDL with their soluble fiber.
4. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, sea trout) help lower circulating triglycerides and help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels by substituting healthy oils for sat fats in red and processed meats.
5. Replace butter and hydrogenated oils (trans fats) with mono- and polyunsaturated oils such as EVOO, grapeseed and peanut oil. They help maintain healthy LDL levels and boost heart-lovin' HDL levels.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit sharecare.com.
(c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.