Cholesterol Lowering Foods

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Understanding cholesterol is a key to good health. Your liver and other cells make about 75% of cholesterol and 25% is derived from your diet. There are two kinds of cholesterol: HDL, the “good” cholesterol which helps keep the “bad” cholesterol, LDL, from getting lodged into the artery walls which leads to coronary heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. A high LDL level can be genetically inherited from your grandparents. It is also commonly caused by eating a diet high in saturated fat, trans fats, and foods with high fat content like meat and dairy. Increasing your HDL levels through physical activity and diet is the best way to lower your LDL.

Soluble Fibers: Oats, Oat Bran, and Beans

Soluble fibers from nutritious foods like steel cut oats, barley, fruits and vegetables prevent the absorption of cholesterol. Beans have the highest cholesterol soluble fiber content of any food and 1 cup of beans per day can lower your cholesterol by 10% in 6 weeks.

Olive Oil

Olive Oil contains a mix of heart healthy antioxidants that can replace other cooking oils. Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil because it is less processed and retains its antioxidant properties. “Light” Olive Oils are misleading because they only lighter in color due to over
processing, not lower in calories.

Cold Water Fish

These fish are high in EPA and DHA, Omega-3 fatty acids that increase HDL, lower LDL and decrease the risk of sudden death in individuals who have had a heart attack. Enjoy two servings a week of salmon, albacore tuna, halibut, lake trout, anchovies, herring, sardines, and mackerel.


One of the most important diet changes you can make is to transition from a diet high in animal products to one that includes more vegetable based protein. LDL is found in high concentrations in high fat dairy as well as beef, lamb and pork. Try to eat these foods sparingly and eat more meals with high protein, low fat soy in products like tofu, soy sausage, tofurkey or ground soy that can be used like ground beef. Soy is high is isoflavones which lowers LDL.


One of the oldest medical remedies, garlic has many healing properties; it can lower LDL, prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure and prevent infection. New research has found that garlic can prevent clogging of arteries at the earliest stages, when they are known as nanoplaques, by keeping individual cholesterol plaques from sticking to the arterial walls. Buy pre-peeled cloves to add to soups, sauces, top pizzas or add to casseroles. To get the best benefits, eat 2-4 cloves a day.


Black and green tea contains several antioxidants that relax the blood vessels and prevent blood clots. Flavanoids prevent the oxidation of LDL which prevents it from forming plaque on the artery walls. One cup of homemade tea, hot or cold, contains more antioxidants than one serving of any other fruit or vegetable.

By incorporating these foods into your diet you can keep your cholesterol down while continuing to eat healthy.

Here's to your wellness,


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