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Foods to Help Lower Cholesterol

Good nutrition and exercise is key to lowering your cholesterol. Below is a list of the top 10 foods to help you lower your cholesterol.

10 foods that lower cholesterol

Can a bowl of oatmeal help lower your cholesterol? How about a handful of almonds? A few simple tweaks to your diet — along with exercise and other heart-healthy habits — might help you lower your cholesterol.

foods that lower cholesterol

Changing what foods you eat can lower your cholesterol and improve the armada of fats floating through your bloodstream. Adding foods that lower LDL, the harmful cholesterol-carrying particle that contributes to artery-clogging atherosclerosis, is the best way to achieve a low cholesterol diet.

1. Apples.

Apple pectin is a soluble fiber that helps draw cholesterol out of the system. The flavonoids (Quercetin) in apples act as a powerful anti-oxidant that seems to short-circuit the process that leads "bad" LDL cholesterol to accumulate in the bloodstream.

2. Beans.

Beans and legumes are an excellent source of soluble fiber and high in vegetable protein. By properly combing beans with brown rice, seeds, corn, wheat or rice you can create a complete protein. Properly combined beans become an excellent substitute for red meat protein that is high in saturated bad fat.

3. Brown Rice.

The oil in whole brown rice, not its fiber, lowers cholesterol. Brown rice can be combined with beans to form an inexpensive complete protein low in saturated bad fat. A study published in November 2003 of the America Journal of Clinic Nutrition cites the importance of having a diet rich in whole grains vs. refined grains as a means to help maintain a normal body weight.

4. Cinnamon.

A study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in people with type 2 Diabetes. It also reduces triglyceride, LDL bad cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels among this group.

5. Garlic.

Garlic is helpful in preventing and reversing heart and cardiovascular disease by lowering total cholesterol, LDL bad cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL good cholesterol.

6. Grapes.

Flavonoids in grapes protect LDL bad cholesterol from free radical damage and reduce platelet clumping.

7. Oats.

Oats when eaten regularly lowers total cholesterol levels by 25% or more within a very short time period (usually one to three months).

8. Salmon.

The major health promoting components in salmon include: Omega 3, EPA/DHA, protein, and antioxidants. All of these components have a favorable effect cardiovascular health and lipid profiles. The American Heart Association recommends that people include at least two servings of fish per week, particularly fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and herring), in their diets.

9. Soy Products.

The top health promoting components in soybeans are isoflavones and soluble fiber. Isoflavones act like human hormone that can lower LDL bad cholesterol and raise HDL good cholesterol. All soy products (soybeans, soy nuts, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, etc.) are complete proteins.

10. Walnuts.

The monounsaturated good fats in walnuts have a favorable effect on high cholesterol levels and other cardiovascular risk factors. The Food and Drug Administration recently cleared a health claim stating "eating 1.5 ounces per day of walnuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease".

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