Q:

What are some foods that lower your cholesterol?

A:

Quick Answer

Oatmeal and other high-fiber foods, fish, nuts and olive oil are some foods that help lower cholesterol. Other foods include soy beans, beans, avocado, garlic and spinach.

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What are some foods that lower your cholesterol?
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Full Answer

Most cholesterol-lowering foods work by affecting the levels of high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood. LDL cholesterol collects in the walls of the blood vessels, eventually causing blockages. HDL helps remove LDL cholesterol from where it collects in the arteries.

Oatmeal and oat bran are high in soluble fiber, which can reduce the absorption of LDL cholesterol. Beans are also high in soluble fiber. At least 10 grams of soluble fiber decreases the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood.

Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are good for reducing blood pressure. Mackerel, lake trout, herring, salmon and sardines all have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are also in ground flaxseed and canola oil.

Walnuts, almonds and other nuts are high in polyunsaturated fats, which positively impact HDL cholesterol. Patients should eat 1 1/2 ounces daily for this benefit.

Olive oil contains antioxidants that lower LDL levels. Roughly 2 tablespoons of olive oil daily results in this benefit. Cooks can substitute olive oil for other fats in cooking and in dressings.

Spinach contains lutein, which improves the level of HDL cholesterol in the blood. The monounsaturated fat in avocado also promotes HDL cholesterol. Garlic prevents cholesterol particles from sticking to the artery walls.

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