The 10 Best Foods To Lower Cholesterol

The 10 Best Foods To Lower Cholesterol

Your diet is going to be the biggest cause of your cholesterol readings. Good diet = good cholesterol. Bad diet = …

Well, you don’t need me to spell it out for you, do you?

If you need to keep your cholesterol down, here are 10 of the best foods to eat:

(Note: egg yolks will not be included.)

1. Chocolate

I’m starting off with the best news first!

Chocolate, (more specifically, dark chocolate), is great at lowering your cholesterol. It’s full of “flavonoids”, which are classified as antioxidants, which seriously lower your cholesterol.

MORE: Top 5 lifestyle changes to reduce cholesterol

It’s also got oleic acid, which is a mono-unsaturated fat that keeps your heart healthy (and is found in olive oil – spoiler for later on in the list!)

It’s easy to eat too much dark chocolate, so remember to limit your intake to 1 oz per day, and only eat dark chocolate with 70% cocoa or more.

2. Pinto Beans

Chalk this one up as another food that’s high in soluble fiber. If you’re going to be making something with beans in it (like a burrito or some chili), try pinto beans next time.

A study found that people who ate a half cup of pinto beans a day were able to lower their cholesterol by 8% – the same amount as the orange juice study.

Just remember to wash off the extra sodium from the canned variety, and you’ll be all set.

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3. Orange Juice

OJ already has a reputation as a healthy food – and for good reason.

If you can look past the large amounts of sugar (because it is a fruit juice after all), it contains lots of vitamins that keep you healthy.

In addition, it also contains compounds known as phytosterols, which have been shown in scientific studies to help reduce ldl levels by 8% (when you drink 16 oz of orange juice a day).

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4. Olive Oil

If you’re looking for a more nutritionally valuable oil, you’re going to be hard pressed to find one.

That’s because olive oil has tons of antioxidants, as well as monounsaturated fats that are healthy for your heart and will decrease ldl levels while raising hdl levels. (Remember: ldl = bad, hdl = good).

MORE: Exercise To Lower Cholesterol

Scientists recently did a study of subjects with high cholesterol, and found that the risk of blood clotting is reduced for subjects who just 2 hours beforehand ate a meal with olive oil.

The reason for that is that olive oil contains phenolics, which is a substance that makes it harder for blood to clot.

5. Steamed Asparagus

Why steamed? Why not seared?

Well, scientists have shown that steaming some vegetables actually makes them more effective at lowering ldl cholesterol.

Asparagus is one of the top performers, as well as geren beans, beets, eggplant, cauliflower, carrots, and okra. By steaming them you’re actually forcing your liver to use up more ldl cholesterol in order to digest them, which means lower ldl levels in your bloodstream.

6. Almonds

If you want to lower your cholesterol, almonds should be one of the first places you turn.

They come jam packed with healthy fats that increase your levels of hdl (the good kind of cholesterol) while lowering your ldl (the bad kind of cholesterol).

MORE: 5 Ways To Lower Cholesterol

PLUS, they can play a role in preventing ldl from oxidizing. That’s a good thing. Why?

Well, oxidized ldl is the culprit for gunking up your arteries and constricting your blood flow. So any food that prevents it from oxidizing is one that you want in your diet.

Remember to eat almonds in moderation though. A few a day is fine, eating them by the handful is going to spike your caloric intake.

7. Blueberries

Everyone’s talking about how blueberries are a superfood, and with good reason. They’re jam packed with stuff that helps keep your body healthy.

But what about your cholesterol?

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Well, they clear out your arteries of harmful clogging ldl cholesterol. Scientists think it’s because blueberries help your liver out a ton – which helps keep your bloodstream ldl clear.

8. Tomatoes

All foods with lycopene are going to help your ldl cholesterol levels go down, and tomatoes are one of the best sources of lycopene in the supermarket today.

Researchers have found that incorporating much more lycopene into your diet can help lower ldl cholesterol levels by as much as 10%.

In order to get an effective amount of lycopene, shoot for 25 milligrams a day. If we’re talking about that much in terms of tomato sauce, we’re looking at a half cup.

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9. Oatmeal

There’s a reason parents love telling their kids to eat oatmeal. It’s because it’s good for you.

Why?

Well, oatmeal is going to give you a ton of soluble fiber – which prevents cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream.

That’s great for your body – plus the fiber in whole grain oatmeal really helps keep you regular and happy. Try to eat between 5 and 10 grams of soluble fiber in a day and you’ll be smiling.

10. Avocados

Avocados are great for lowering ldl levels because of a familiar culprit: mono-unsaturated fats.

These heart healthy fats will lower your ldl levels and your triglycerides and keep your hdl levels strong.

Oh, and did I mention that avocados are delicious? If you didn’t know that, you’ve been seriously missing out. Make some guacamole and chow down, knowing that you’re helping to keep your cholesterol levels down.

 

In summary…

The Best Foods That Lower Cholesterol

  1. Chocolate
  2. Pinto beans
  3. Orange juice
  4. Olive oil
  5. Steamed asparagus
  6. Almonds
  7. Blueberries
  8. Tomatoes
  9. Oatmeal
  10. Avocados

best foods that lower cholesterol

22 comments… add one
  • C. Jensma July 2, 2015, 8:35 am

    ALL of these foods in a limited quantity in your diet WILL be good for you. I never really knew this about chocolate, but honestly, the more you learn about it, the more it amazes me.

  • Tashira Webster July 2, 2015, 8:21 am

    Steamed veggies are so good for you and when they are asparagus, you are getting so many of the right things in your body all at the same time.

  • Martina June 29, 2015, 4:45 pm

    You list the first one as chocolate? Really! Like you even have to mention any of the other ones :)

  • Shellie H. June 26, 2015, 2:41 pm

    Olive oil is very good for your body and not just for your cholesterol. I use it in all of my cooking and recently started using it when I make popcorn as well.

  • Judith P. June 26, 2015, 2:19 pm

    I should get mine checked. I ate many of the foods on this list and I guess I would be curious to see where I was on the cholesterol chart.

  • Eugenia Holler June 22, 2015, 6:10 pm

    I would like to show my doctor this list and ask why I was given a prescription rather than the knowledge to reduce it on my own via these tips.

  • Nanny June 22, 2015, 4:18 pm

    Getting your body in a good shape takes time and knowledge. This list is a great way to ensure that you are getting the best bang for your buck from everything that you eat.

  • Thelma N June 22, 2015, 3:43 pm

    Great list, thank you very much for sharing it with the readers here.

    • Nicole Weever June 29, 2015, 4:59 pm

      I agree. I also shared this with my friends on Twitter.

  • Princess Jones June 22, 2015, 1:10 pm

    Blueberries and oatmeal are two of my favorites. It is good to know that when you put something into your body it is a good thing!

  • Cindy A. June 22, 2015, 12:00 pm

    The bad thing about lowering your cholesterol is that some people NEED to do it, but they are given a prescription instead.

  • B. North June 22, 2015, 11:34 am

    Almonds are a great way to get some good things into your body. Besides lowering your cholesterol, you also get some good fats and that helps keep your joints lubed up, right?

    • Myriam K. June 26, 2015, 2:57 pm

      You got that right. There is a reason that you can get almonds just about anywhere these days. They are healthy for you and could be considered a super food.

  • B. Killian June 19, 2015, 12:40 pm

    I love all of the foods on this list. I guess I should go and get my cholesterol taken instead of assuming that it is good.

  • Finley Swarm June 16, 2015, 6:09 pm

    I have always heard that oatmeal was very good for you. Besides taking care of your cholesterol, it is so good for your body overall.

  • Spenny Willard June 16, 2015, 4:07 pm

    My doctor said that my cholesterol is high and I was just searching around to see what I could do without a prescription. This list is perfect for that.

  • Debbie H. June 16, 2015, 2:48 pm

    Lowering your cholesterol might not be that easy to do for some people, but in terms of being more healthy, you may have no other choice. These are good tips!

  • Jasmine P. June 14, 2015, 3:46 pm

    When it comes to lowering your cholesterol, these foods are on your side. The flip side would be a prescription, but that can easily be avoided if you watch your diet, in most cases.

  • Jennifer June 14, 2015, 3:35 pm

    Olive Oil is so good for you in many ways. Besides lowering your cholesterol, you can also keep your joints lubed up by consuming it.

  • Amanda June 10, 2015, 7:23 pm

    These are very good foods for a person. If you need to move your cholesterol a few points, they work wonders. If you are having an episode, you might want to go see a doctor.

  • Tiffany June 10, 2015, 7:11 pm

    I have heard these will lower your cholesterol. The weird thing I cannot figure out is why my dr. does not recommend them?

    • Lenora E. June 22, 2015, 4:37 pm

      It is hard to determine why doctors might not go the natural route when there is a little bit of cholesterol to figure out. I never noticed the actually process as a bad thing, but I guess that is how you look into it.

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