Curious About How to Reduce Cholesterol Naturally? Try These 10 Foods!

by Cindy

How to Reduce Cholesterol Naturally!

For many people, especially those with chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, improving cholesterol is an extremely important part of their treatment plan.  However, many patients do not want to start medications that can have serious side effects and risk.  The good news is that there are many foods that you can eat to help you lower cholesterol naturally! Combine some of these 10 cholesterol lowering foods with foods from our low cholesterol foods list and you will see improvements in your HDL, LDL and total cholesterol!

  • Fish:  Fatty fish such as albacore tuna, salmon, and herring, all contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve cholesterol naturally.  These substances work so well that there are numerous supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids that are marketed to reduce cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends that patients eat fish at least twice per week to get the recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Walnuts:  Walnuts are rich in healthy fats and contain high amounts of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  Do be careful to monitor serving size because these snacks are often high in calories.  Add walnuts to your salad to help lower cholesterol naturally.
  • Oatmeal:  Oatmeal is packed with fiber, which helps lower bad LDL cholesterol. Fiber also helps you feel full for longer periods of time.  Pair oatmeal with fresh fruit such as apples, pears or prunes to increase your fiber intake even more.
  • Olive Oil: Replace your current oils with olive oil because this type of oil contains healthier fat and can help decrease your LDL cholesterol.
  • Beans:  Beans are high in fiber and protein.  Replace red meat with beans to decrease your intake of unhealthy saturated fats.
  • Red Wine:  Studies have shown that consuming red wine in moderation can improve cholesterol levels.
  • Tea:  Black tea has been shown to improve bad cholesterol, or LDL.
  • Dark Chocolate:  Believe it or not, recent studies have shown that dark chocolate can increase good HDL cholesterol levels!  Don’t overdo it though, especially if you have diabetes!
  • Plant Sterols:  Products containing plant sterols, such as certain margarines, can be used to replace butter or other products to improve cholesterol levels.
  • Soy:  Soy contains soluble fiber and substances, called isoflavones, which have been shown to raise good cholesterol and decrease bad LDL cholesterol.

Improving cholesterol levels plays an important role in the prevention of heart disease in all people.  Studies are emerging to support the use of foods to lower cholesterol by incorporating certain foods from this list into your dietary portfolio (portfolio diet).  Clinical research has shown that including some of these foods in your diet can reduce cholesterol levels more than low fat diets alone will do. 

Even if your cholesterol is currently normal, most people can benefit from changing their diet to be more heart healthy.  Try adding some of these foods to your diet for ways to reduce cholesterol naturally.  Also if you are diabetic, don’t forget to check out “Diabetic Diets that Work” and Foods with Low Glycemic Index Make Great Diabetic Snacks” for more information about improving your diet.

Alas, poor Yorick!
Creative Commons License photo credit: Gilles Gonthier

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