Foods that help lower your cholesterol

trailmixBelow is a list of foods that can help you bring down, and then keep down, your cholesterol.

  • Oatmeal, bran, and most high-fiber foods
    • These foods are high in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is the kind of fiber that can help reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol by interfering with the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Other foods high in soluble fiber include: lentils, apples, oranges, strawberries, nuts, beans, blueberries, carrots, and celery. If your daily goal for total fiber intake is 25-30 grams/day, at least 12-14 grams of that should come from high soluble fiber sources.
    • You can also add a glass of Metamucil to your daily routine! Psyllium fiber has been shown to help reduce blood cholesterol. Why? Because it’s soluble fiber!
  • Fatty fish
    • They contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids (natural blood thinners). These fish have also been shown to reduce blood pressure and reduce your risk of forming blood clots. Try: Mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines, tuna, halibut, and trout.
  • Walnuts, almonds, and other nuts
    • They are good sources of monounsaturated fats, omega-3’s, antioxidants, and other vitamins and minerals.
  • Olive oil and Canola oil
    • Both are good sources of monounsaturated fats. Extra virgin olive oil contains antioxidants that also help lower your LDL. Canola oil contains less saturated fat than olive. However, remember that oil is fat, and regardless of how healthy it is for you, it contains 125 calories and 14 grams of fat per tablespoon. If you’re watching your weight, be mindful. Dr. Dean Ornish wrote a great article about these oils titled “The Great Olive Oil Misconception — Dr. Ornish Responds.”
  • Functional foods with added plant sterols and stanols
    • Functional foods are foods that may have additional benefits to your health beyond basic nutrition. Examples of functional foods are: oatmeal (it’s a breakfast item plus helps lower cholesterol), OJ fortified with calcium (it’s a beverage plus helps with bone health), I think you get it. If not, send me a message or comment below and maybe it would be a good topic for a future post.
    • Stanols and sterols block the absorption of dietary cholesterol. You can find them in spreads like Smart Balance and Benecol, as well as in mayo, yogurt, and orange juice.
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