What foods can help reduce cholesterol?


Quick Answer

Beans, apples, seeds and nuts, and oats and oat bran can reduce cholesterol, as Everyday Health indicates. These foods reduce low-density lipoprotein, the cholesterol that can lead to the formation of artery-clogging plaque in the walls of the coronary artery. This plaque raises the chances of strokes and heart attacks.

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Full Answer

Beans and apples are good sources of soluble fiber. Fiber sticks to cholesterol-containing bile salts in the small intestine, and the intestines expel the fiber and the salts as waste. Taking 1/2 cup of cooked beans every day can reduce LDL by almost 8 percent, explains Everyday Health. Eating one or two apples in a day slows down the oxidation of LDL cholesterol due to the polyphenols in their skin.

Seeds and nuts, such as pumpkin seeds, walnuts and flaxseeds, are good sources of vitamins, fiber, healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and protein. They reduce LDL without interfering with high-density lipoprotein. Because they are high in calories, Everyday Health recommends 1/4 cup of seeds and nuts per day without sugar coatings or salt.

Oats and bran are excellent sources of beta-glucan, the fiber that reduces LDL in the blood. Taking 3 grams of oat beta-glucan every day can lower LDL by almost 7 percent, notes Everyday Health.

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