Having high cholesterol puts you at risk of developing heart disease which is the leading cause of death in the United States. People of all ages and backgrounds can have high cholesterol. In fact, about 1/3 of all Americans have high LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. It’s good to be aware, if your diet gave you high cholesterol, it can lower it too.
1. Oatmeal, oat bran, and high fiber foods
Oatmeal contains soluble fiber which reduces LDL/“bad” cholesterol by reducing the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Soluble fiber is also often found in beans, fruit, and whole grains.
2. Fish and omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in many fish, can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. Fish highest in omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, lake trout, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon, and halibut. If you want to be sure you are getting sufficient omega-3’s take a daily supplement, just be sure it says DHA or EPA on the label.
3. Almonds, walnuts, and Pecans
Eating about a handful (1.5) ounces a day of most nuts can reduce blood cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids which help keep blood vessels healthy. It is important your nuts are unsalted and you keep in mind that portion size is very important as nuts are high in calories.
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil contains a beneficial mix of antioxidants that can lower your LDL/“bad” cholesterol. The cholesterol-lowering effects of olive oil are even greater if you choose extra-virgin olive oil which has even more heart-healthy antioxidants. Try aiming for 1 tablespoon of olive oil a day in place of other fats in your diet. Saute it with vegetables, use as a salad dressing, or substitute for butter. Like nuts, olive oil is high in calories so be cognizant of the amount you’re using.
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You’re one step closer to a healthier you!