Foods That Lower Your Cholesterol

Nuts have been shown to help lower cholesterol (Photo: Volosina/Shutterstock)
Nuts have been shown to help lower cholesterol (Photo: Volosina/Shutterstock)

Before your doctor tells you your cholesterol levels are too high, why not fill your diet with foods that help you lower your cholesterol? Focus on including these foods in your diet and you can help ensure your GP never has to have that chat with you,

Whole grains

Hopefully, by now you’ve made the switch (or at least occasionally opt for the whole grain option over white bread) to whole grains. And if not, if you’ve tried whole-grain bread just once, try a different variety because they can taste very different from brand to brand and variety of bread. Whole grain pasta, too, can vary in taste from brand to brand. To get more whole grains in your diet, steelcut oats are a fantastic filling breakfast option; throw some into your morning smoothie for an easy way to get some whole grains on the go. In terms of how it’s helpful for your health, the soluble fibre in whole grains is beneficial as it virtually cleans out cholesterol from your body while the plant sterols help prevent your body from absorbing cholesterol.

Nuts

They have been shown to help lower cholesterol by about five percent. Keep a container at your office desk for a healthy snack when those mid-afternoon cravings hit or when making salads, throw some nuts into them to add crunch. Remember, though to watch your portion size. 

Oranges, strawberries and grapes

Fruit that contains pectin, such as these three fruits, are good for your cholesterol levels as this type of fibre helps to eliminate cholesterol from your body. Eat them in as a salad for dessert, use them in your smoothies or incorporate them in your dishes (orange slices would be a refreshing complement to a soy-glazed salmon fillet, for example).

Fatty fish

Aim to have fatty fish such as salmon once or twice a week as the omega 3s in these seafood catches help to lower LDL. Cook them on a cedar plank on the BBQ, and use chunks of the leftover salmon in a wrap for lunch the next day or mixed with some potatoes and dill to make salmon patties.

Green tea

Drinking this tea, which is rich in catechins, has been shown to reduce LDL (aka bad cholesterol). If you’re a coffee drinker, try to have green tea every other time you would normally get a cup of joe. You may find your taste buds will adapt over time and you’ll soon be wanting the earthy taste of a cup of green tea over your Tim Hortons double double as your hot beverage fix.

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Flare, Elle Canada and ElleCanada.com, Glow, Metro, Huffington Post Canada, Travelife and Travel + Escape. She also runs her blog, HealthandSwellness.com, where she writes about health, beauty, fitness and lifestyle.

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