Top 5 Foods to Lower “Bad Cholesterol”
1. Oatmeal: contains soluble fiber, which help decrease absorption of the “bad cholesterol” (LDL) in the intestines; need at least 10 grams of soluble fiber for maximum cholesterol-lowering benefits; TRY steel-cut oatmeal or cold cereal made with oatmeal and/or oat bran and add fruits
2. Nuts: rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (aka: PUFA) that help keep blood vessels healthy and elastic ; TRY to eat a handful a day (1.5 oz) to help lower risk for heart disease (I.e. replace meat/cheese/croutons in salad with a handful of almonds)
3. Fatty Fish: contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower blood pressure and blood clotting risk; TRY eating fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon (bake or grill instead of frying) at least twice a week and/or using flaxseed or canola oil
4. Olive Oil: contains antioxidants that lower LDL cholesterol without affecting HDL levels; Extra Virgin Olive Oil is less processed and contains more heart-healthy antioxidants (avoid “light” olive oils); TRY to use 2 tablespoons a day for heart-healthy benefits (sauté with vegetables, add in marinades, mix with vinegar and use as salad dressing, etc.)
5. Stop eating trans fats. Avoid saturated fats. Read food labels and avoid anything that says “partially hydrogenated oils.”
What foods do you try to eat to maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels, or to lower your own?
Written by Mitzi Dulan  with research assistance provided by Monica Lobo .