Foods to Eat to Lower Cholesterol

Introduction:If you've been diagnosed with high cholesterol, it's time to get serious and figure out which foods to eat to lower cholesterol. Unless you choose to continue your bad dietary habits and/or take cholesterol reducing drugs (ugh), you should bone up on a few of the foods which will help your body lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise the good cholesterol (HDL).

Your first line of defense should be to stop eating a lot of high fat foods, particularly foods high in trans fats - these types of food really raise LDL. Your next step should be to change your diet to add in some cholesterol reducing foods such as those listed below.

So, forget about that afternoon candy bar and grab a piece of fruit instead. You might not like it as much but your body will be much happier.

Incidentally, if you have a hard time remembering which is cholesterol should be low and which should be high, use this easy tip:

LDL should be LOW (The 'Ls' in 'LDL' and 'Low' go together)
HDL should be HIGH (The 'Hs' in 'HDL' and High' go together).

  • 01

    Apples and Nuts

    Apples are a great food to eat to lower your LDL (your bad cholesterol). The soluble fiber in apples, pectin, appears to draw out the cholesterol from your blood. Perhaps the old adage of 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' has some credence.

    Walnuts are also a good snack to eat when trying to reduce your cholesterol. Eating just 1/3 cup of walnuts a day will lower your cholesterol approximately 12%.

  • 02

    Oatmeal and Oats

    Everyone knows that oatmeal makes for a satisfying breakfast on a cold winter morning but did you know that eating oats will reduce your cholesterol? Like apples, oats contain soluble fiber which reduces your bad cholesterol. Eating just 1.5 cups of oatmeal a day will give you an extra 4.5 grams of fiber to your diet. That's enough to scrub you from the inside out!

    If you're looking to make your oatmeal more interesting, see my companion article about items to add to your oatmeal to make it more satisfying:

    http://www.listmyfive.com/eff04a90/The-Top-Five-Ways-to-Make-Oatmeal-More-Satisfying

  • 03

    Cinnamon

    Yes, believe it or not, there are clinical studies which show eating just 1/2 tsp of cinnamon a day will reduce your bad cholesterol. Now, you're probably not going to put it in a teaspoon and down it, but there are creative ways to get cinnamon into your diet, such as adding it to your coffee or atop that bowl of oatmeal. How about a sprinkle of cinnamon on some lower fat cottage cheese for a very satisfying snack?

  • 04

    Salmon and Tuna

    Actually, any omega-3 fatty acid fish will help to lower your cholesterol. Try to get in at least two servings of salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, or mackerel a week for the best results. While you're at it, eat only wild-caught fish as farm-raised fish are fed things that are not generally eaten by the fish in the wild leading to some theories that these fish are not as healthy as the wild-caught varieties.

  • 05

    Brown Rice

    Interestingly, it's the oil in brown rice which reduces cholesterol, not the fiber contained in the whole grain. But, brown rice is so much better for you than white rice anyway so supplement your diet with a cup of brown rice a few times a week. Add in some green beans or other favorite vegetable to make it more interesting.




Final Thoughts

High cholesterol is the silent killer and can easily lead to stroke and heart attack if not corrected. Do not take a diagnosis of high cholesterol lightly.


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