Individuals can alter their diets to lower cholesterol by eating foods that are high in fiber, using fish for a source of protein and consuming nuts with high amounts of healthy fats, Mayo Clinic advises. Walnuts and almonds help to control cholesterol levels.
Although nuts are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, the healthy kind of fat, they are also high in calories and should be eaten in moderation, explains Mayo Clinic. Fish are also rich in healthy fats, particularly lake trout, albacore tuna, salmon, halibut and mackerel. These fish have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, compounds that not only help to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels but can also help keep an individual from developing blood clots. Fish are best grilled and not cooked in oil, unless olive oil is used. Olive oil is a healthy oil that helps lower bad cholesterol.
High-fiber foods such as oatmeal also help to lower bad cholesterol, according to Mayo Clinic. Vegetables, fruits or foods with sterols and stanols, compounds found in plants, help to block bad cholesterol. They are also added to fortified foods such as yogurt and orange juice. Another dietary change is to avoid trans fats, which are very bad for cholesterol levels. These are found in margarine and store-bought baked goods.