Looking for 5 foods that help lower cholesterol? High cholesterol can be a serious medical condition, but you can lower high cholesterol or prevent your cholesterol from getting higher with a few dietary changes that are easy to make and easy to live with.
- Oatmeal, oat bran cereal and fiber. Oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber, which reduces bad cholesterol, or LDL. Soluble fiber works to reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. One serving (half a cup uncooked) of oatmeal, oat bran or high fiber cereal each day will significantly reduce cholesterol levels. Add blueberries or walnuts to your oatmeal to increase the cholesterol lowering properties of your food at breakfast. Oatmeal should be your first choice to lower your cholesterol through your food intake.
- Fish or fish oil. Replace that slab of steak with fish once or twice a week to lower your cholesterol. Fish contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that raise good cholesterol and lower your blood pressure. Some people find eating fish too unappetizing, making fish oil capsules a convenient substitute. Read the label on the fish oil capsule bottle for the proper dosage.
- Yogurt. Yogurt contains Lactobacillus acidophilus reuteri, which works to prevent the absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream. Add foods like blueberries and walnuts or almonds to plain yogurt for a snack or part of a cholesterol-lowering breakfast.
- Nuts. Walnuts, almonds and pistachios contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which are the first line of defense against arterial damage caused by the consumption of saturated fats. Eating nuts after a high fat meat may help protect your heart. Eat a half cup serving of nuts daily as a snack, on cereal or in desserts.
- Olive or canola oil. There is good fat and bad fat. The good fats are the unsaturated fats that can actually help to increase your HDL (good cholesterol). The bad, or saturated, fats should be avoided. Saturated fats are solid, like a stick of butter which can build up in the arteries and cause damage. Adding olive oil, canola oil or flaxseed oil can lower your cholesterol levels. Add one to two tablespoons of good fat to your daily diet. Many brands of margarine are made with good fat. Read the label and find a margarine that is made with olive oil or canola oil.