20 Best Foods For Lowering Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a big hot topic in health and there is good reason why. Known for being damaging to the arterial walls in your body, cholesterol can cause you to have heart disease, heart attacks, and most commonly, strokes. High cholesterol is widely a risk factor for these conditions and there is medication that you can take to monitor your cholesterol levels, you still need to monitor what you eat to help prevent issues in the future.

Listed below are 20 foods that are known to help lower your overall cholesterol levels so that you can prevent harmful conditions from affecting you.

1. Barley.

If you can mention one or more foods that contain barley then you are ahead of many out there. Barley, while not very well known, is actually a common grain that is found in many breakfast cereal options. It typically is an excellent option for anyone looking to maintain and lower cholesterol levels because it is high in fiber content, mostly from soluble fiber. Some studies have shown the consumption of whole barley has led to as high as 10 percent reduction in cholesterol levels with the consumption of barley, so consider having more of this grain to start your day.

2. Apples.

One of the best options for snacking throughout the day is also a great choice when it comes to reducing your overall cholesterol levels. Known for being a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, an apple surely can do wonders for your health and cholesterol levels. Consider eating an apple, with skin intact, every day at breakfast, blended in your smoothie, or as part of a light snack throughout the day to help lower your levels of cholesterol. It is best to eat the apple rather than drinking it for best results, but if you enjoy the taste of apples blended in your smoothies, you can certainly give this a shot as well.

3. Oatmeal.

One of the oldest and most well-known foods to eat in the morning hours is oatmeal, which is generally high in fiber and soluble fiber. Studies have shown soluble fiber to be valuable for regulating cholesterol levels, which is why it is important to enjoy this food option often. Consider having a serving of oatmeal early in the day to start your day and consider adding apples and any other foods that are high in fiber content for best results. You can also add oats to your cookie options to make them healthier and a better option and treat for snacking throughout the day.

4. Flaxseed.

One of the best ways for reducing cholesterol levels is to consume foods that are high in omega fats, especially omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are low in inflammation, but they also play a cleansing role in the body by attaching to smaller cholesterol molecules and eliminating them from the body. One of the best sources of omega fats is from flaxseed, which contains an abundant amount of omega 3 fatty acids per two table spoon serving. These fats can certainly play a vital and protective role in your health and cholesterol to help prevent disease from affecting you.

5. Salmon.

Salmon is widely considered to be the cream of the crop when it comes to getting more omega 3 fatty acids in your body so that you can better manage your cholesterol levels. Fatty fish varieties such as salmon are ideal when it comes to lowering your cholesterol levels. Eating salmon a few times per week can help to raise your overall HDL, or good cholesterol, while lowering your LDL, or bad cholesterol, to give your body a better lipid profile. This is similar to what cholesterol medication does for you and if you are looking for a good lifestyle to help lower your cholesterol then considers eating salmon about three times weekly.

6. Kidney Beans.

They are named because they resemble the human kidney, but kidney beans are a great food choice to lower cholesterol levels. Kidney beans contain ample fiber with each serving and if you consistently consume these beans then you place your health at better chance for lowering overall cholesterol levels. A single serving of kidney beans typically will give you more than half of your days’ worth of fiber which can help to lower your overall cholesterol levels. Consider eating kidney beans with other vegetable options to get a more pronounced effect at lowering your cholesterol and consider these beans also as a good option to help you lose weight.

7. Garlic.

For centuries, people have used garlic for a number of reasons, many of which are beneficial for health today. While it is not typically discussed in nutrient based topics, garlic is actually highly nutritious and important for your health, even though it can make your breath have an odor after eating them. The health benefits of garlic have ranged from reducing blood pressure, lowering your chance of blood clots, and also for reducing your cholesterol levels. Some studies have even shown garlic to be important for stopping the atherosclerotic process in your arteries, which is vital for preventing a heart attack or stroke.

8. Chocolate.

It should come as a surprise that chocolate has popped up on this list, but it is important to understand that chocolate is much different that a candy bar. Candy bars are highly associated with increasing your cholesterol levels, as well as increasing your body weight. But dark chocolate with high percentages of cacao are potentially useful in helping to lower your cholesterol levels. While you should have moderation when eating chocolate, make sure to only limit your intake to about an ounce per day for best results. The antioxidants that you get from eating chocolate may also be a major player in oxidizing LDL cholesterol to help stop the formation of plaque in your major arteries leading to your heart.

9. Eggs.

There once was a time when eggs were not recommended for daily consumption if you are at risk or have high cholesterol, must recent years and research has refuted this claim. The theory was that the more cholesterol you eat the worse off you is and this is still true. But in the case of eggs, they are a source of good cholesterol and fats, which actually plays a protective role in your health. Eggs have continuously been shown to help lower bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol, which is very similar to what a medication can typically do for you.

10. Avocados.

This highly popular green fruit is a great source for many nutrients needed to support your health. First off, avocados contain compounds that can help to keep you full and prevent you from overeating, so consider this as an option for snacking. Avocados contain a good amount of monounsaturated fats, which is a good type of fat that is associated with protective heart health and for helping to lower your cholesterol.

Monounsaturated fats typically are a major source of omega fats, so this is why avocados can help protect your health. In addition, avocados contain a good amount of fiber, which means the combination of fats and fiber make this a powerful cholesterol lowering fruit out there.

11. Broccoli.

Vegetables really play an important part in your health and wellness and there is no doubt that they are something we all need to eat more of. Broccoli is a vegetable that can add roughage to your colon to help cleanse toxins, cholesterol, and other harmful compounds from your body. Without this roughage, your elimination process would be a challenge and it could lead to poor colon health.

Broccoli is quite resilient in that you can have it raw with a dip, with hummus, steamed as a side dish, and warm in your salad at lunch. If you are looking for a low calorie and high nutrient way to help lower your cholesterol then this is a good place to start.

12. Apple Cider Vinegar.

It seems that there are endless uses for apple cider vinegar that have been shown to reduce ill health and improve your better health. Apple cider vinegar is a spiced version of vinegar that has been shown to help lower your cholesterol levels.

The primary reason it can help to lower your cholesterol levels is because it can help to aid with your overall digestion, which can help aid with cholesterol control. In addition, some smaller studies have shown the consumption of apple cider vinegar to be a good source for helping to lower bad cholesterol and improve good cholesterol levels, making this a great alternative for reducing cholesterol.

13. Tomatoes.

Typically not considered to be one of the powerhouse vegetables out there, tomatoes are a great source of vitamins A and C and it is highly associated with high amounts of lycopene. In addition, the lycopene in tomatoes have shown to be important for general health, as well as for reducing the bad cholesterol, making this a good option for you and your cholesterol.

The next time you order a sandwich or burger and you leave the tomato off to the side, just remember that you are also throwing away some potential support for lowering and maintaining your cholesterol levels.

14. Grapes.

Grapes are a unique kind of fruit that offers a plethora of vitamins and phenols, as well as provide great taste for your midday snack. Known for their small appearance and full flavor, grapes contain strong compounds that can help to stop the formation of cholesterol in the body, which is important if you are at risk or have high cholesterol. One cup of these tasty pieces of fruit contains a good amount of vitamin k and copper, and for only about 100 calories.

Wine is typically a drink you can consume to help lower your cholesterol levels, which come from grapes, so consider this an option as well. Consider eating some grapes as part of your daily snack to help lower cholesterol.

15. Lentils.

One of the best ways to lower cholesterol levels in your blood is to eat more fiber, more vitamin rich foods, and to be mindful of the bad foods to avoid. Lentils are quite possibly the healthiest foods you can enjoy to help reduce your cholesterol levels.

A single serving of lentils of about one cup offers a little more than 200 calories, but well over half of your days’ worth of fiber as well. This helps to eliminate the bad from the blood and help to prevent you from overeating on desserts. Consider eating more lentils throughout your week to help maintain better cholesterol levels.

16. Turmeric.

Even though this food has been around for centuries, it is still quite unknown on how it can benefit human health and wellness. Turmeric can be used in many food recipes and it is technically a spice, but it is quite powerful. It is mostly known for reducing inflammation in the body, which is important for preventing heart disease, diabetes, and cancers.

In addition, turmeric can help to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood and some people even use this as a supplement to assist with cholesterol levels. Consider eating more foods and dishes that are high in turmeric to help regulate your cholesterol levels and be aware that one side effect of this food is lowered blood sugar.

17. Eggplant.

This is a valuable vegetable that you can use for a wide range of reasons. It is low in calories, high in fiber and mineral content, and the dark outer layer of the vegetable helps to add much needed roughage to your intestine. A typical one cup serving of eggplant, which is usual in a stir fry meal, contains about five grams of fiber to help ease the bad cholesterol out of your system.

Consider having a light stir fry that uses eggplant in addition to other cholesterol lowering foods to help lower your cholesterol risk. Be aware of adding butter and too much oil when cooking as this can cause the fats from the oils to harden and change their structure.

18. Chili Peppers.

This is not typically a food that people tend to eat whole and raw, but if you can handle the heat then it would be a good choice to give them a shot.

Chili peppers are typically consumed in the dried form or as a spice, which can be a main dish in many chili recipes and other spicy options. The flavonoids and valuable nutrients in the chili pepper help to oxidize the bad cholesterol roaming and circulating in your blood, which can help to lower your cholesterol levels. Of course if this does not work, there is always the chance that the heat from the pepper does not allow for cholesterol formation in your blood.

19. Bananas.

There are many health benefits of bananas and a great part of them is that they typically taste amazing. Known for being high in fiber content and for promoting healthy energy, bananas have been associated with regulating cholesterol levels in the blood in the past.

Due to their sterol content in each fruit, bananas can block the absorption of cholesterol in your diet, meaning it is wise to eat a banana with as many meals as possible. If you add a fresh banana to your morning bowl of oats, your cholesterol lowering effect is more pronounced and even quite beneficial. Consider eating more bananas to help lower cholesterol from the body.

20. Cauliflower.

Last on the list is a vegetable that is similar to broccoli, but with a completely different taste. Cauliflower is a potent vegetable that plays vital roles in many health features, including your cholesterol.

Studies have shown cauliflower to be important for attaching bile acids together, which has been shown to maintain and regulate your cholesterol. For best results with your cauliflower, you should steam and not boil the vegetable so the healthy compounds do not evaporate with the heat. Steaming for about 10 minutes should be sufficient to thoroughly cook the vegetable for you to get the most out of your cholesterol lowering benefits.