You just got a recent blood test and your doctor has informed you that you have high cholesterol. Before you panic, there are some different things that you can try. Did you know that there are specific foods that you can eat that can help lower your cholesterol naturally? Try any one or any combination of the following foods to give it a try.
1. Red Wine
Red wine — in moderation — can be really good for your health! A high-fiber red wine can help reduce bad cholesterol in the body. A study conducted in Madrid, Spain, tested the cholesterol of individuals that consumed the same grape supplement that is found in red wine — and their LDL levels were down by 9 percent!
Skip the eggs and bacon in the morning and enjoy some hearty oatmeal. Two servings of oats can lower bad cholesterol (LDL) by 5.3% in less than two months’ time. Oats contain beta-glucan, which absorbs LDL, and then it’s excreted.
If you’re not a breakfast person, you can try the next item for lunch or dinner.
Fatty fish is really healthy for you. Omega-3 fats are known as the “good” kind of fat and have been shown to help the body defend itself against various ailments from heart disease to dementia. Research conducted at Loma Linda University showed that replacing saturated fats with Omega-3 fats can raise good cholesterol by up to 4 percent.
Beans are known as a heart-healthy food, but did you know that adding them to your diet on a regular basis can lower LDL by up to 8 percent? Beans are high in fiber which is key to slowing the rate that cholesterol is absorbed in the body. Black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans are all good options.
Now we’re talking! Chocolate is a powerful antioxidant that helps increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels in the body. Eating cocoa (found in dark or bittersweet chocolate) can increase HDL levels by 24 percent over three months time. So, go ahead! Have that piece of chocolate after dinner. You deserve it.
And, speaking of dinner, you can use this next ingredient to help lower LDL.
6. Olive Oil
This popular cooking ingredient can be good for you — in moderation. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids which are not only good for your heart, but can also help lower bad cholesterol. An added bonus? Olive oil can help trim belly fat! If you don’t want to cook with it, you can always use it as a salad dressing.
One of the best things you can grab for a snack is nuts. Not only will they fill you up quickly, but eating 1.5 oz of whole walnuts per day can lower your cholesterol by over 5 percent. Almonds and cashews showed similar decreases and are also great snack options.
This green super food is a popular choice for salads and is really good for you. Spinach contains lutein which can help the body rid itself of bad cholesterol that causes clogging. Adding a small spinach salad as a side to your dinner can help you keep your cholesterol in check.
Avocados are classified in the healthy fats category, jam-packed with monounsaturated fatty acids. Eating avocado a couple of times per week (in a salad, for example) can help lower bad cholesterol levels. Avocados are known to work double duty as well, as they can reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed from other foods that you eat.
This next food can be a game changer.
Giving up butter and switching to margarine is an easy way to lower cholesterol. Make sure to choose a margarine that contains plant sterols (like Promise activ or Benecol) because the compounds can help reduce cholesterol absorption.
Switching up your dairy choice can also help lower your cholesterol in a major way. Check out the next slide to see.
Try eating soybeans or foods made from them (such as tofu or soy milk) if you want to lower your cholesterol. Consuming 25 grams of soy protein per day is said to lower LDL by up to 6 percent! If you’re heading to grab a coffee, try a soy latte to get some additional health benefits.
Drinking a cup of tea can help reduce LDL. Known for its cancer-fighting antioxidants, tea has also been known to help people who are struggling with high cholesterol. Green tea or black tea is preferred, the latter has reduced blood lipids by up to 10 percent in just three weeks in some avid drinkers.
Garlic may be an acquired taste, but it you are a fan, there’s good news to be had. Garlic has plenty of health perks — from helping prevent blood clots to reducing blood pressure. Research in recent years has shown that consuming garlic — about 2-4 fresh cloves per day — helps keep cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls.
Not only are apples a great fruit to eat after a meal as they are said to aid in digestion, but they are also rich in pectin. Pectin is a soluble fiber that is known to lower cholesterol. Additional fruits containing pectin are strawberries and grapes.
And, last but not least, this tastey veggie can seriously help keep you healthy.
Try adding eggplant to your diet if you want to lower your cholesterol. Not only is it tasty, but it’s a great source of soluble fiber, which can help keep your cholesterol at a healthy level. Another thing to try? Okra. The low-calorie vegetable has similar properties and can also help reduce LDL.