Tags: cholesterol | heart | foods | lower | hdl | ldl

10 Best Foods to Lower Cholesterol Levels

cholesterol-lowering foods including oats, seeds, almonds, berries

By    |   Wednesday, 18 October 2023 10:15 AM EDT

High cholesterol levels increase your risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death, and stroke, the fifth leading cause of death. And yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 86 million U.S. adults have cholesterol levels above the recommended 200 mg/dL and nearly 25 million adults have total cholesterol levels above 240 mg/dL.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin, author of The Healthy Heart Miracle, says that statins are the most used drugs to treat high cholesterol, but about 75% of people report sufferering muscle pains and other side effects when they take statins.

But you can help lower cholesterol by eating heart-healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, says Health. Here are the top 10 foods that lower cholesterol:

  1. Oats and oat bran. Studies have shown that eating oats regularly can significantly lower both total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol levels. Oats and oat bran contain beta-glucan, a concentrated source of soluble fiber that helps reduce cholesterol level by preventing the absorption of cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract and increasing cholesterol excretion in stool.
  2. Almonds. Nuts and seeds are rich sources of fiber that can help lower cholesterol, and almonds are particularly helpful, according to studies. They can also help lower triglyceride levels, fats associated with an increased risk for heart disease.
  3. Berries. A 2018 review found that eating berries was linked to reductions in total cholesterol levels, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure, as well as improvements in levels of HDL “good” cholesterol.
  4. Avocados. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health says that avocados are compatible for low-carbohydrate diets because they contain more good fat than carbs. The heart-friendly fat found in avocados does not increase blood cholesterol and provides more satiety than traditional cholesterol-lowering diets that are often low in fat. In fact, studies show that eating avocados regularly may help increase heart-protective HDL and decrease the levels of oxidized LDL.
  5. Flaxseeds. A 2020 review of 62 studies demonstrated that adding flaxseeds to the diet reduced total cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol, which could delay the progression of heart disease. Flaxseeds also contain magnesium, a mineral that helps maintain the health of arterial walls.
  6. Cocoa products. Unsweetened cocoa helps promote heart health by improving blood lipid levels, lowering inflammation, and supporting healthy blood pressure levels, says Health.
  7. Garlic. Studies have shown that eating garlic may lower cholesterol, according to Verywell Health.  Dr. Matthew Budoff, professor of medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, says that eating garlic or taking aged garlic extract (AGE) can help lower cholesterol significantly. Budoff explains that in his own research, AGE has shown potent anti-inflammatory properties, similar to prescription drugs. “One of the benefits we believe the statin drugs impart to reduce cardiovascular risk and death is their anti-inflammatory property,” he says. “Now we’re seeing AGE having a similar effect on inflammation.”
  8. Apples. It’s prime apple season right now, and this popular fruit may be just the ticket to help lower cholesterol levels according to several studies.
  9. Beans. We all know the rhyme about beans being good for your heart, and science backs this up. Beans are one of the best choices for lowering cholesterol levels because they are an excellent source of fiber, which binds to cholesterol and prevents it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Research shows that eating about ¾ of a cup of beans daily may reduce LDL levels by 18% and lower heart disease rates by 11%.
  10. Seafood. Studies show that people who eat fish regularly tend to have heathier blood lipid levels, including higher levels of HDL cholesterol and lower levels of LDL, which could help protect against heart disease. The best choices are fatty fish, such as sardines, trout and salmon, which contain omega-3 fats that protect blood vessels, along with zinc, calcium, and selenium.

Lynn C. Allison

Lynn C. Allison, a Newsmax health reporter, is an award-winning medical journalist and author of more than 30 self-help books.

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

High cholesterol levels increase your risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death, and stroke, the fifth leading cause of death. And yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 86 million U.S. adults have cholesterol levels above the...
cholesterol, heart, foods, lower, hdl, ldl
Wednesday, 18 October 2023 10:15 AM
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