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What is a list of healthy foods that prevent high cholesterol?

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Quick Answer

Foods that provide soluble fiber and polyunsaturated fats keep people from developing high cholesterol. The soluble fiber pulls cholesterol out of the digestive tract before it enters the bloodstream, and polyunsaturated fats lower the LDL or "bad" cholesterol in the system, according to Harvard Medical School.

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Full Answer

Oats, bean, barley and other whole grains all contain soluble fiber. A bowl of oatmeal provides between 1 and 2 grams of soluble fiber, and adding strawberries or a banana adds at least another 1/2 gram. The ideal level of fiber intake is 20 to 35 grams per day, with 5 to 10 in soluble form. The typical American diet only contains about half of that, as stated by Harvard Medical School.

Apples, strawberries, grapes and citrus fruits contain a type of soluble fiber called pectin. In addition to soaking up cholesterol and removing it from the digestive system, pectin also lowers levels of LDL cholesterol in the body. Another way to lower LDL levels is to eat foods that contain polyunsaturated fats. Nuts such as walnuts, peanuts and almonds contain significant amounts of healthy polyunsaturated fats. Using sunflower, olive or canola oil when cooking can also help reduce LDL levels, notes Harvard Medical School.

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