Top 10 Cholesterol Lowering Foods

Now, before discussing a number of really good foods which can help to prevent high cholesterol by naturally lowering your levels, it is important to remember that cholesterol is an important part of the body. However, research studies have shown that the human body is capable of producing all of the cholesterol that it actually needs. Likewise, a sustained level of high cholesterol will elevate your risk of heart disease or stroke.

Now, if you remember in the last post, many of the foods which are derived from animals can be high in things like saturated fat, which can drastically elevate your cholesterol levels. This is exactly why it is a good idea to start incorporating more cholesterol lowering foods into your diet. This post is only meant to serve as a general guideline to help keep cholesterol levels in check, because different diets, lifestyles, and foods can have varying effects for different people. Anyways, here are 10 great foods which can help to lower your LDL, or bad cholesterol levels, while maintaining your HDL cholesterol levels.

1) Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats

18% Cholesterol Reduction

The best way that you can significantly reduce your level of LDL cholesterol is by substituting saturated animal fats for healthier sources of fat like canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, and avocados. People who can primarily utilize sunflower oils and olive oils and then keep to a diet which contains only about 13% saturated fat, 15.1% monounsaturated fat, and 7.9% polyunsaturated fat, can see about 18% drop in their LDL cholesterol levels.

2) Flax Seeds

8-14% Cholesterol Reduction

High cholesterol clinical studies have shown that consuming around 38 grams of flax seeds a day can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol by about 14% in adults who have been diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia. Healthy young adults can see a reduction of about 8% in their LDL levels by consuming up to 50 grams of flax seeds every day. Flax seeds can be easily incorporated in a variety of different baked goods like muffins or oatmeal.

3) Bran

7-14% Cholesterol Reduction

A number of studies have proven how effective bran, especially oat bran, can be at lowering high cholesterol in adults. This type of food can be easily incorporated into your everyday diet as well. Just try adding some bran to your bread or hot cereals in the morning. In fact, you could significantly increase the amount of bran in your diet by eating whole oatmeal for breakfast every morning, or swapping out for brown rice.

4) Garlic

9-12% Cholesterol Reduction

Garlic certainly seems to be a wonder food of sorts. Aside from being a food that can lower your risk of cancer, research has shown that consuming less than half of a clove (about 900mg) of raw garlic per day can reduce your cholesterol by 9-12%. Unfortunately for those people who aren’t fans, it is best if the garlic is consumed raw, so try adding it to a salad or using it as a garnish.

5) Almonds

7-10% Cholesterol Reduction

Almonds serve as a good source of protein, but they can also help to lower high cholesterol levels. Trying munching on a cup of almonds a day, and you could see your LDL levels reduced by up to 10%. Almonds are also fairly abundant in calories, so it is recommended that you stick to one cup a day. They make an excellent snack food, or you can add them as a compliment to a number of different dishes.

6) Walnuts and Pistachios

10% Cholesterol Reduction

Walnuts and pistachios can be very delicious, and they can provide a healthier source of fat for people with high cholesterol. Several studies have shown how consuming pistachios or walnuts can help lower bad cholesterol levels. An effective strategy can be allocating about 20-30% of your daily caloric intake to nuts in order to achieve the best cholesterol lowering results.

7) Whole Barley

7-10% Cholesterol Reduction

Similar to the oat bran, whole barley can help significantly reduce your cholesterol when it is substituted for other wheat food items. Next time you head to the supermarket, have a look around for barley flower, barley noodles, and whole pearly barley.

8) Dark Chocolate and Plant Sterols

2-5% Cholesterol Reduction

Now this is something that could surely excite those people with a sweet tooth. Scientists have found that the cocoa flavanols and plant sterols located in dark non-dairy chocolate can help lower cholesterol levels by around 2-5%. In fact, these plant sterols are also commonly found in other cholesterol lowering foods like corn and other plant oils, and these can lower LDL levels by up to 16%! However, researchers do claim that this later reduction has more to do with the inhibition of further cholesterol absorption.

9) Green Tea

2-5% Cholesterol Reduction

Interestingly enough, green tea has long been used in Asia for its believed ability to help wash the bad oils (or fats) from the body. Even more intriguing is that a number of studies are providing more proof for these ancient beliefs. If you can skip on the added sugar, green tea can make a perfect substitute for a number of more unhealthy beverages.

10) Lycopene Foods

0-17% Cholesterol Reduction

No, you did not just read that range incorrectly, and this is exactly why these foods came in last on this list. Lycopene is actually the pigment responsible for giving many fruits and vegetables there reddish color. So, anything from tomatoes to watermelons tend to possess plenty of lycopene. Unfortunately, the results from various studies have painted a conflicting story of this food group. While some researchers recorded a 10-17% reduction in numerous cases, other studies recorded no major difference afterwards. Despite this slight discrepancy, lycopene is generally eaten as a good source of nutrition.

Amazingly, these 10 foods can all help to lower your risky cholesterol levels. If you have already been diagnosed with high cholesterol, than this is a really good thing. While on the other hand, if you haven’t yet developed high cholesterol, than this is even better!


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