5 Foods to Help Keep Your Cholesterol in Check

 

While medication can be taken to lower cholesterol levels, people can sometimes accomplish the same goal by changing their eating habits. According to the Harvard Heart Letter, fiber can help change cholesterol levels by attaching itself to cholesterol and eliminating it from the body before it gets into the bloodstream.1 Plant sterols may also help lower cholesterol by keeping the body from absorbing it.

Want to add cholesterol-lowering foods to your diet? Here are five foods that may help lower your LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol.

 

1. Oats

Start your day off right with a morning bowl of oatmeal. Researchers found that oat β-glucan (OBG), a soluble fiber found in oats, can help lower LDL and total cholesterol. Soluble fiber works by reducing cholesterol absorption in the bloodstream and researchers found this positive effect in humans when adding three or more grams of OBG to the diet.2

According to Today’s Dietitian, a magazine for nutrition professionals, you can get three grams of OBG from 1.5 cups of cooked oatmeal or three packets of instant oatmeal.3

 

2. Nuts

Nuts may be high in calories, but they pack a positive health punch. According to the journal Nutrients, nuts can lower cholesterol while providing a slew of other benefits.4 That includes tree nuts such as walnuts and almonds, and even peanuts. They contain plant sterols that help lower cholesterol absorption.

The Mayo Clinic recommends eating about a handful of nuts a day to get the benefits, though avoid nuts that are salted or covered in sugar.5 To help yourself stick to a single serving, pour the nuts into a small bowl instead of eating directly out of the container.

 

3. Avocado

It may seem funny that this fat-filled food would lower LDL, but it does. Avocados offer monounsaturated fats, which can be helpful to your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels; according to an article published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology.6

Try adding avocado to a sandwich or salad. You can also use it to make guacamole and eat it with carrot sticks or other vegetables instead of chips.

 

4. Fruit

Add strawberries, apples, grapes and other fruits to your meals and snacks.7 In addition to antioxidants, these fruits are also high in pectin, a soluble fiber that may help lower LDL cholesterol.8

Eat fruit by themselves, or add them to yogurt, salad or smoothies. An apple a day may truly help keep the doctor away!

 

5. Fatty fish

Fish that are high in omega-3 fats including salmon, halibut, albacore tuna, mackerel and herring; reduce triglycerides in the blood and lower LDL.

By substituting fish for meat a few times a week, you’re getting more omega-3 fats than some meats provide. Keep your fish as healthful as possible by not breading or frying.

Diet is just one piece of the cholesterol-management puzzle. Click here to learn about other strategies to help keep your cholesterol in check!

While medication can be taken to lower cholesterol levels, people can sometimes accomplish the same goal by changing their eating habits. According to the Harvard Heart Letter, fiber can help change cholesterol levels by attaching itself to cholesterol and eliminating it from the body before it gets into the bloodstream.1 Plant sterols may also help lower cholesterol by keeping the body from absorbing it.

Want to add cholesterol-lowering foods to your diet? Here are five foods that may help lower your LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol.

 

References

1https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/11-foods-that-lower-cholesterol

2Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Dec;100(6):1413-21.

3http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/050114p16.shtml

4Nutrients. 2010 Jul; 2(7): 652–682.

5http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/cholesterol/art-20045192.

6J Clin Lipidol. 2016 Jan-Feb;10(1):161-71.

7J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Jun 13;60(23):5687-9.

8Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 May;66(5):591-9.

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  • Scott Mason
Comments 1
  • Chieko Toyoshima
    Chieko Toyoshima

    Good to know. Thanks!

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