5 Great Cholesterol Lowering Foods
If you have done any dietary research, you’ve probably read that foods which are derived from animals tend to be high in things like saturated fats. High cholesterol clinical studies have shown that these saturated fats can elevate a person’s cholesterol levels more than any other single factor. However, the focus of this post is not about what foods cause high cholesterol, but what foods can lower cholesterol.
Luckily, there are a number of foods which are really good at lowering these bad cholesterol levels, and they can easily be incorporated into a person’s diet without having to change things up too much. I also want to remind everyone that I am writing this as a general guideline, and that the results could vary for some. Anyways, here are a few great foods which can help lower your LDL cholesterol levels.
Oils and Flax Seeds
Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats: One of the best ways to lower your LDL cholesterol levels is by swapping out some of those saturated fat sources for healthier sources of fat. I’m talking about things like olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and avocados (a personal favorite!!). People who cook primarily with olive oils, or even sunflower oil, could actually see up to an 18% decrease in their bad cholesterol levels! That can help lower your risk for high cholesterol and even heart disease.
Flax Seeds: Studies have shown that patients with hypercholesterolemia could reduce their bad cholesterol levels by up to 14% by eating 38 grams of flax seeds per day. Plus, you can even get a solid benefit from incorporating these flax seeds as a healthy young adult. Flax seeds can be found in a variety of different baked food items like muffins or oatmeal.
Bran and Garlic
Bran: Scientists have been surprised by just how effective bran, or oat bran, can be at helping lower cholesterol levels in adults. You can get a healthy amount of bran in during breakfast with a variety of cereals, or you can add some to your lunch and dinner with bread. People who have been eating whole oatmeal during their breakfast have been doing quite a lot to lower their risk of stroke. (if you don’t like oatmeal, you can try eating more brown rice too.)
Garlic: Based on several recent studies, garlic seems to be quite the miracle healthy food. Aside from having attributes which combat cancer, it also adds a lot of good flavor to a broad variety of dishes (granted it can cause some issues with your breath). Clinical trials have shown that about a half garlic clove a day can help to significantly reduce your cholesterol levels by around 9-12%. Many experts recommend eating garlic raw when you can, but this is more of a general guideline.
Nuts: Almonds, Walnuts, and Pistachios
Almonds: This nut is renowned as a great source of protein, and studies have shown that they can also help to lower your cholesterol levels. If you know that your cholesterol levels are high, you should try eating one cup of almonds per day. Researchers have reported that almonds could reduce your cholesterol by up to 10 percent. Almonds make a great snack on their own, or they can make an excellent addition to a wide variety of dishes (here are 10 great recipes that include almonds!)
Walnuts and Pistachios: Then there are walnuts and pistachios, which are both healthy sources of fat for people who are trying to watch their cholesterol. As with almonds, there have been a number of studies that support the use of walnuts and pistachios to lower high cholesterol levels. If you are interested in adding this to your everyday diet, you can try eating about 20 to 30 percent of your daily calories in pistachios, walnuts, or almonds.
Incorporating these foods can help lower your bad cholesterol and even protect the body from several other medical conditions in the long run. This list was put together primarily for people living with high cholesterol, but they would make an excellent addition to your shopping list regardless.