Cholesterol is a fat that is produced by the liver, and it is in every cell in the human body. Cholesterol must be present for a person to be healthy. Good cholesterol, also known as HDL, can prevent cardiovascular disease.
When LDL, or bad cholesterol, levels are too high, the individual is at increased risk of developing heart disease. Diet can play a part of lowering cholesterol levels to an acceptable range. Foods that will lower cholesterol levels include the following:
Walnuts and Almonds
Eating nuts will help to lower cholesterol levels. Keep an eye on portions, though. These foods are high in calories, so a serving is about a handful.
Eating oatmeal and oat bran helps to lower cholesterol levels, since these foods contain soluble fiber. Other choices containing soluble fiber include:
- Kidney beans
Using olive oil for cooking is a good choice, since it contains antioxidants that lower the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the body without affecting the “good” cholesterol. Extra virgin olive oil is the best choice, since this version has been processed to a lesser degree than other forms and contains a higher level of antioxidants. Olive oil can be used in salad dressings, as an ingredient in a marinade, or for frying foods.
Fatty fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower the risk of blood clots. Omega-3 also helps to lower blood pressure. People who have already had a heart attack should make a point of eating the recommended two servings of fish per week, since it helps to lower the risk of dying from a subsequent cardiac episode.
Omega-3 can also be taken as a supplement. This is a good choice for those who don’t like fish or who can’t eat it twice a week.