11 Foods to Lower Cholesterol
Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fiber
which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags
them out of the body before they get into circulation. Some give you
polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols
and stanols , which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.
1. Oats. An easy first step to improving your cholesterol is having a bowl of
oatmeal or cold
oat-based cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of
soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half gram. Current
nutrition guidelines recommend
20-25 grams of fiber a day, with 5-10 grams coming from soluble fiber.(The
average American gets about half that amount.)
2.Barley and other grains . Like oats and oat bran, barley and other whole
grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, mainly via the soluble fiber
3. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for
the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That's one
reason beans are a useful food for people who are trying to lose weight. With so
many choices--from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyes peas,
and beyond- and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.
4.Eggplant and okra. These two low-calorie vegetables are good sources of
5. Nuts. A “bushel “ of studies shows that eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and
other nuts is good for the heart. Eating 2 ounces of nuts a day can slightly
lower LDL, on the order of 5%. Nuts have additional nutrients that protect the
heart in other ways.
6. Vegetable Oils. Using liquid vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower,
safflower, and others in the place of butter , lard, or shortening when cooking
or at the table helps lower LDL.
7. Apples, grapes, strawberries, citrus fruits. These fruits are rich in pectin,
a type of soluble fiber that lowers LDL.
8. Foods fortified with sterols and stanols. Sterols and stanols extracted from
plants gum up the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol from food. Companies are
adding them to to foods ranging from margarine and granola bars to orange juice
and chocolate. They’re also available as supplements. Getting 2 grams of plant
sterols a day can lower LDL cholesterol by about 10%.
9. Soy. Eating soybeans and foods made from them, like tofu and soy milk, was
once touted as a powerful way to lower cholesterol. Analyses show that the
effect is more modest-consuming 25 grams of soy protein a day ( 10 ounces of
tofu or 2 ˝ cups soy milk) can lower LDL by 5% to 6%.
10. Fatty fish. Eating fish two to three times a week can lower LDL in 2 ways:
by replacing meat , which has LDL- boosting saturated fats, and by delivering
LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega 3’s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and
also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.
11. Fiber supplements. Supplements offer the least appealing way to get fiber.
Two teaspoon a day of psyllium, which is found in Metamucil and other
bulk-forming laxatives, provide about 4 grams of soluble fiber.
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