1. Five servings/day of Fruits and Vegetables :
Most people are unaware that fruits and vegetables are cholesterol reducing foods. Fruits and vegetables are full of phytonutrients that can support many areas of health. But it is the fiber in these tasty treats that helps lower cholesterol… particularly LDL. Fruits and vegetables contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Neither type is digested by our bodies. But soluble fiber reduces the absorption of cholesterol by binding bile where cholesterol levels are high. It is estimated that eating 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber per day can decrease LDL cholesterol by 5%.
2. Old Fashioned Rolled Oats :
½-1cup/day (dry measurement) quick cooking variety is fine too.
Oats contain high levels of dietary fiber, manganese, selenium, and magnesium. Numerous studies showed that a diet high in beta-glucan from oats help to lower blood LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). Oats may also help stabilize blood glucose levels, which may benefit people with diabetes. Studies show that in people with high cholesterol (above 220 mg/dl), consuming just 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day typically lowers total cholesterol by 8 to 23 percent. 3 g of soluble oat fiber can be found in just one bowl of oatmeal…isn’t this simple !
3. Almonds, with the skin :
Many people are afraid to eat nuts because they are high in fat. But remember, some fats are good for you such as those contained in nuts. Don’t get carried away. The fats in nuts can still promote weight gain. But adding nuts to your diet can help reduce your cholesterol. Walnuts and almonds are particularly effective as cholesterol reducing foods. Try replacing high fat meats and cheeses with a handful of walnuts. Or sprinkle some almonds on your salad. Eat at least 1oz./23 almonds (about 169 calories) or 2 Tbl. almond butter. To know more about serving size click here.
4. Flaxseed (a.k.a. linseed/alsi) :
Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container. Add ground flaxseeds to salads, hot cereal , muffins and casseroles. Because flaxseeds tend to absorb water, it’s important to drink at least 8 oz. of water when consuming flaxseed products. Additionally, flaxseed oil has not been shown to be as effective in lowering cholesterol as ground flaxseed because it does not contain lignin, the component thought to be responsible for lowering cholesterol.
5. ½ cup of beans, peas, or lentils daily or at least 4x/week:
Beans are very high in soluble fiber, and has been shown to lower cholesterol. Some examples are limas, white beans (in bean soup), kidney beans (in chili or added to salads), chickpeas-chole (in hummus, Chole curry,dals or added to salads and chaat), green peas,okra, refried beans, black beans (often served w/rice and corn and Mexican food )
And, don’t forget to exercise!