Olive oil, foods with added plant sterols or stanols, nuts, fish, and oatmeal are five foods that reduce cholesterol, according to Mayo Clinic. Combining these foods with a healthy diet and exercise regimen reduces cholesterol further.
Olive oil has a blend of antioxidants that reduce bad cholesterol while leaving the good cholesterol in place, notes Mayo Clinic. Mixing it with vinegar to dress a salad, dipping bread in it, and sauteeing vegetables or lean proteins in it all offer 2 tablespoons per day. Stanols and sterols all block the body from absorbing cholesterol, and yogurt beverages, orange juice and some margarines are available with these additives, which appear on the packaging.
Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, are filled with polyunsaturated fatty acids that keep blood vessels healthy, and eating a handful a day reduces cholesterol, notes Mayo Clinic. Baking or grilling such fish as salmon, albacore tuna or lake trout yields a healthy serving of omega-3 fatty acids, which lower blood pressure and the risk of clot formation. Two to three servings of fish a week are ideal. Oatmeal has soluble fiber, which keeps the bloodstream from absorbing as much cholesterol, and Mayo Clinic recommends 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber each day.