When your cholesterol level gets too high, what do you do? Some may restrict their food intake or eliminate fat and oil from their diet totally, but these are not proper and effective ways to lower your cholesterol. What you can do is to make dietary changes by incorporating cholesterol lowering foods into your meals as an addition or replacement to the fatty food you used to consume. Choosing the right cholesterol lowering foods will help you to lower cholesterol naturally without you having have to endure hunger pangs or tolerate less tasty and bland food. There are in fact a variety of cholesterol lowering foods that are available and you can use a bit of your creativity to blend these nutritious foods into your daily recipes for a healthier diet.
Top Cholesterol Lowering Foods
Here is the cholesterol lowering foods list where you can pick these cholesterol lowering foods for your breakfast, tea, snack, lunch and dinner according to your preference.
- Green tea
- Fatty fish
- Red wine
- Unsaturated fat
- Brown rice
- Soy products
- Plant sterols
Green tea is well known for its various beneficial properties to health, amongst which is the antioxidant properties to help reduce LDL cholesterol level and increase the HDL or good cholesterol level. It also prevents atherosclerosis to keep your blood vessels unobstructed and promote good circulation. To enjoy these benefits, drink at least 2 glasses of green tea every day.
Read more: Does Green Tea Help In Lowering Cholesterol Levels?
The omega-3 fatty acid which has anti-inflammatory and cholesterol reduction properties is best derived from deep sea fishes. Take at least 2-3 servings of fish like salmon, canned tuna and mackerel every week to protect your heart and lower cholesterol. These cholesterol lowering foods are easily available and tasty, so there won’t be problem in making such dietary change.
Read more: Lower Cholesterol Levels with Fatty Fish
Now you can relax with a glass of red wine every day to help reduce your cholesterol level. The antioxidant known as revasterol found in grapes contributes to the cholesterol lowering property in red wine. Women are recommended to take 1 serving of wine a day while men may take 1-2 servings of wine daily. Only moderate alcohol consumption is reported to be beneficial for the heart so you should not go binge-drinking.
Read more: How Red Wine Fights Bad Cholesterol?
Whenever you feel like munching on trans fat-rich foods like chips, fries and cookies, think of substituting these sinful food with nuts instead. There is a wide variety of good and healthy nuts which you can indulge in, like walnuts, cashew nuts, almond, hazel nuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts and etc. These little crunchy tit-bits contain plant sterol which makes nuts one of the foods that lower cholesterol. Although nuts can be healthy snacks, you should limit your consumption to about a handful daily due to their high calorie contents.
Read more: Eating Nuts: A Healthy Way to Lower Cholesterol
Wake up to a bowl of oatmeal every morning as it gives you the goodness of fiber. Oatmeal is one of the foods that lower cholesterol effectively after weeks of consumption because of the soluble fiber which it contains. The soluble fiber works in your digestive tract to attach to LDL cholesterol before the bad cholesterol is excreted in feces.
Read more: Heart-Healthy Food: Oatmeal
Intake of saturated fat from butter, animal oil and poultry or trans fat from processed foods should be minimized but unsaturated fat which is high in omega-3 fatty acid is safe to be consumed. Vegetable oil like olive and canola oil besides nuts contain beneficial unsaturated fat to lower level of bad cholesterol and protect your heart. To get the cardio-protective and lipid lowering effect, you are advised to take 2 tablespoons of olive oil which you may add into your cooking or meal preparation.
Apples truly deliver to their promises of keeping the doctors away as they are bountiful of nutrients, antioxidants and fiber. The pectin in apples is a type of soluble fiber which attracts your bad cholesterol and eliminates them from your system. This, together with the antioxidant properties of quercetin in apples reduce the amount of cholesterol being absorbed into your bloodstream.
The unpolished rice is a great alternative to your daily meals as it is rich in fiber, vitamins and oil which reduce the bad cholesterol in your body. You may cut back on meat consumption and enjoy a combination of brown rice and beans instead for sufficient protein intake without the added saturated fat.
Read more: Brown Rice as a Cholesterol Lowering Food
Soy products like tofu, soy milk and soybeans may have slight cholesterol-lowering effect and they are a healthy substitution to meat and saturated fat. They provide adequate protein for your daily diet minus the fat and cholesterol. So, when you need to cut back on meat, give soy products a try.
Found naturally in plants, these plant sterols are useful in reducing level of LDL cholesterol. Foods that are fortified with plant sterols like orange juice and margarine are cholesterol lowering foods which you can consume to block absorption of cholesterol in your system. You are recommended to take about 2g of plant sterols a day to bring down your cholesterol level.
Add more servings of beans to your diet as they are full of nutrients like protein, calcium and soluble fiber which reduce the bad cholesterol and risk for coronary heart disease. There are the pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans and etc which you can take instead of red meat. They keep your bad cholesterol out of your body without affecting the good cholesterol.
Sprinkle more greens on your plate, especially with green leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach. Fresh vegetables contain antioxidants, nutrients and fiber which work efficiently to reduce cholesterol level besides preserving the health of your heart. Increase your veggie servings and cut down on fatty and oily food.