Foods That Help Lower Cholesterol

Photo Credit: Klaus Höpfner CC-BY-SA-3.0-migrated

Have you been diagnosed with high cholesterol or are your concerned about your cholesterol levels? If you have high cholesterol or want to make sure your cholesterol level stays low, you have to make some changes to your diet and lifestyle. Changes in your diet should include cutting down or eliminating trans fats and saturated fats from your diet. Replace fatty foods with more whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. There are some foods that are more beneficial in reducing the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol. You should change your diet and get more exercise, even if your doctor has prescribed a cholesterol-lowering drug. 
Whole grains are an excellent addition to any diet, especially a low-fat cholesterol fighting diet. Oats, oat bran and oatmeal contains soluble fiber that works in your digestive system to suppress the absorption of LDL cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes. Apples, bananas, pears, prunes, barley and beans are especially good choices for dietary soluble fiber. Add some raisins, banana slices or some blueberries to your morning oatmeal or cold high-fiber cereal for extra flavor and additional antioxidants.
Replace your regular cooking oil with olive oil. Olive oil contains antioxidants that helps to prevent the absorption of LDL cholesterol, but does not affect the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or the good cholesterol. The extra-virgin olive oil is less processed than light olive oil, but both types of olive oil are high in calories. Saute vegetables in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil for extra antioxidants and soluble fiber to help reduce your cholesterol. Mix olive oil with vinegar and spices for a delicious salad dressing. 
Fatty fish, including mackerel, herring, sardines and halibut, contains omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce your cholesterol. Added benefits of eating fatty fish include lowering your blood pressure and preventing blood clots, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. Replace red meat with a fatty fish twice each week, or more often if you like fish. Bake or grill fish in place of frying to avoid adding trans fats to your diet. 
Nuts contain polyunsaturated fats, which help keep your cholesterol in check. Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans and pistachio nuts are good choices. Add a handful of nuts to your salad instead of croutons or grated cheese to help reduce your cholesterol. Choose plain nuts instead of salted nuts to avoid the extra sodium.  
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About Robin R.
I’m an AFPA certified personal trainer & nutrition consultant, NASM certified corrective exercise specialist, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I specialize in weight loss, functional strength training, total body toning, aerobic conditioning, plyometric training, nutrition planning, and home-based boot camp style workouts for women. My goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for my clients. My services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.

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