According to Mayo Clinic, foods believed to lower cholesterol levels include high-fiber items such as prunes, beans, oatmeal and barley. Additional foods include nuts, fatty fish such as trout and salmon, olive oil and foods fortified with sterols or stanols. People can also take omega-3 fatty acid supplements to improve heart health and lower cholesterol.
Mayo Clinic advises people to limit their consumption of saturated and trans fats found in food items such as red meat, dairy, margarine and certain oils. To do this, Prevention recommends replacing high-fat meats with soy alternatives.
Eating healthy monounsaturated fats such as those found in avocados gives the body a chance to fight against cholesterol formation. Garlic is another food that is shown to decrease cholesterol levels as well as perform a variety of other helpful functions in the body such as reducing blood pressure.
According to Prevention, the lutein found in spinach is known to protect the arteries against cholesterol accumulation by preventing clogging. Chocolate and hot and iced teas contain high levels of flavonoid antioxidants, which keep cholesterol from being able to oxidize and form bonds with itself and the inside of blood vessels. Prevention recommends finding a way to incorporate small amounts of these foods into the daily diet to give the body extra fighting power against unhealthy heart invaders.