Reducing the intake of certain types of fats is the best way to improve cholesterol levels, according to WebMD. Dietary fat should consist primarily of healthy fats such as monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids, and should make up between 25 and 35 percent of overall calories. Fish and vegetable oils provide healthy fats that support a heart-healthy eating plan.
Saturated fats found in animal products such as meat, eggs and some dairy products should be reduced or avoided, states WebMD. Another type of fat to avoid is trans fat which is found in many processed foods such as donuts, chips, pastries and french fries.
Foods that are high in soluble fiber, including oatmeal, beans, apples, prunes and barley, help to reduce high LDL levels by reducing the absorption of cholesterol in the bloodstream, according to Mayo Clinic. Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans and pistachios are rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fats that help promote healthy blood vessels. Avocados are also rich in monounsaturated fat, as well as a variety of nutrients that help improve LDL levels in overweight or obese individuals.
Losing weight may be necessary for individuals trying to improve cholesterol levels, states WebMD. LDL tends to be higher in overweight people, and losing excess weight can reduce triglyceride levels. Getting enough exercise and physical activity supplements a good-eating-and-weight-loss plan. Engaging in regular moderate exercise, including walking and jogging, reduces LDL while also improving HDL levels.