Our body needs cholesterol to build vitamins, hormones, and cells, but excess cholesterol can cause several ailments. Cholesterol is naturally produced by the liver, but it is also present in animal-sourced proteins like dairy, poultry, and meat. Excess intake of such fatty foods can elevate blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of cardiovascular issues. That said, studies have shown that a healthy and well-balanced diet, combined with cholesterol lowering medications like repatha, praluent, and lipitor, can help lower cholesterol levels.
Here are a few cholesterol-lowering foods to include in your diet if you’re struggling with high cholesterol:
- Certain vegetable oils
Certain vegetable oils like sunflower oil and canola oil are better options for preparing your meals, as they help lower cholesterol levels.
Legumes like beans, lentils, pulses, and peas are great cholesterol-lowering foods that help prevent heart problems or manage any existing heart health issues. This is because legumes contain a good quantity of minerals, proteins, and fiber.
Eating nuts like almonds and peanuts regularly in recommended amounts can lower the Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol levels and boost the High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol levels.
Flaxseeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for managing healthy cholesterol levels. These cholesterol-lowering foods also promote overall health and well-being.
- Soy products
Soy products like tofu, soybeans, and soy milk are highly beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels, but you should try to consume them in their original form for the best benefits.
This vegetable should be a staple in a cholesterol-lowering diet chart. It is rich in several necessary nutrients and also contains soluble fiber, which is helpful for people with high cholesterol.
Having at least two servings of tuna per week helps reduce cholesterol levels, so include it in the form of salad, pasta, sandwiches, or anything else you like. Also, both fresh and canned tuna work well.
Kale packs a healthy amount of magnesium, antioxidants, and potassium, all of which help lower cholesterol and promote heart health.
Pecans are next on our list of cholesterol-lowering foods. They constitute a good amount of monounsaturated fatty acids and are also rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and beta carotene.
- Whole grains
Whole grains like barley, oats, brown rice, and even popcorn are among the best foods for lowering cholesterol levels. You can also choose whole-grain products instead of refined flour when having bread and pasta.
- Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has high flavonoid content as compared to normal chocolates, which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. That said, ensure that you choose dark chocolate with 75% cocoa concentration for these benefits.
Apples are highly beneficial for high cholesterol patients, as the apple peel has phenolic compounds that help fight cholesterol woes. The fibrous fruit also helps keep your weight in check, which significantly contributes to managing blood cholesterol levels.