Foods that help regulate cholesterol include those that contain soluble fiber, polyunsaturated fats, and plant sterols and stanols, reports the Mayo Clinic. Each of these different types of food affect the body's cholesterol levels, either by helping to lower the "bad" cholesterol or by raising "good" cholesterol.
Soluble fiber helps lower the body's LDL, or "bad" cholesterol. Foods that contain soluble fiber are oats, beans, barley and whole grains. The daily recommendations for fiber range from 20 to 35 grams per day, states WebMD. A bowl of oatmeal provides a healthy portion of fiber in the morning while beans, barley and other grains provide sources for soluble fiber throughout the day.
Polyunsaturated fats raise levels of "good" cholesterol. Foods that contain polyunsaturated fats come from plant-based sources. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that some of these sources are oils, such as sunflower, olive, corn and canola oil. Seeds, nuts and fish also contain these types of healthy fats. The best fish for polyunsaturated fats are salmon, herring and sardines and mackerel. When cooking fish, it is best to bake or grill it.
Sterols and stanols help the body absorb cholesterol from food, which prevents the body from storing them. The Mayo Clinic suggests to look for these additives in margarine, juice, chocolate and granola bars. Sterols and stanols are also available in supplement form.