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Foods that can help lower cholesterol

by Mitchelle Uzorka

Changing what foods you eat can lower your cholesterol and improve the armada of fats floating through your bloodstream.

Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.

This article lists foods that a person can incorporate into their diet to improve their cholesterol levels.

• Eggplant

Eggplant is high in dietary fiber: A 100-g portion contains 3 grams (g)Trusted Source of fiber. As the American Heart Association (AHA)Trusted Source point out, fiber helps improve blood cholesterol levels. It also reduces the risk of developing:

heart disease

stroke

obesity

type 2 diabetes

 

• Garlic

People can use garlic in a wide range of dishes, and it has many health benefits.

For example, researchersTrusted Source have found that garlic can help regulate serum cholesterol levels. And another studyTrusted Source determined that garlic can also help reduce blood pressure.

However, these studies involved garlic supplements — it would be difficult to include enough garlic in the diet to have a noticeable effect on cholesterol levels.

 

• Nuts

Nuts are a good source of unsaturated fats, which can help lower LDL cholesterol levels, especially when they replace saturated fats in the diet.

Nuts are also rich in fiber, which helps keep the body from absorbing cholesterol and promotes its excretion.

All nuts are suitable for a heart-healthy, cholesterol-lowering diet, including:

almonds

walnuts

pistachios

pecans

hazelnuts

Brazil nuts

cashews

 

• Legumes

Legumes, also known as pulses, are a group of plant foods that includes beans, peas and lentils.

 

Legumes contain a lot of fiber, minerals and protein. Replacing some refined grains and processed meats in your diet with legumes can lower your risk of heart disease.

A review of 26 randomized controlled studies showed that eating a 1/2 cup (100 grams) of legumes per day is effective at lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol by an average of 6.6 mg/dl, compared to not eating legumes.

 

• Fruits and Berries

Fruit is an excellent addition to a heart-healthy diet for several reasons.

Many types of fruit are rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels (20Trusted Source).

It does this by encouraging your body to get rid of cholesterol and stopping your liver from producing this compound.

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