Q:

Which foods help to lower cholesterol?

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Quick Answer

Oatmeal, walnuts, almonds and fatty fish help lower blood cholesterol, according to Mayo Clinic. Other cholesterol-lowering foods include olive oil, avocado and foods supplemented with plant sterols.

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Full Answer

Oatmeal and other foods high in soluble fiber prevent cholesterol from entering the bloodstream. Consuming two servings of oatmeal daily lowers cholesterol by about 5 percent in six weeks, according to Prevention. Fiber-rich foods, such as apples and kidney beans, are important components in cholesterol-lowering diets, as stated by the Mayo Clinic. Prunes and barley are also extremely high in soluble fiber.

Walnuts and almonds are high in fat and calories, but the type of fat they contain promotes blood vessel health. A small portion of plain nuts makes an excellent addition to a salad, and using nuts in place of cheese or high-fat salad dressing prevents increased calorie consumption. Avocado is another high-fat cholesterol-lowering food. Its power comes from beta-sitosterol, a fat that reduces the absorption of cholesterol into the blood, according to Prevention.

Olive oil is another important part of a cholesterol-reduction diet, especially when used as a substitute for other oils and fatty condiments. For example, replacing butter with olive oil makes many sauces and baked goods more healthful. Like nuts and avocados, however, olive oil contains many calories.

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