A diet rich in soluble fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals can help reduce levels of bad cholesterol and neutral triglycerides in the body. This, in turn, aids in preventing and supporting the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and effective blood pressure management. The following article will suggest 12 cholesterol-lowering foods for you to consider and incorporate into your daily diet.
#12 Cholesterol-Lowering Foods You Should Use
Diet plays a crucial role for individuals with high blood cholesterol, obesity, atherosclerosis, and other cardiovascular-related conditions. Therefore, building a cholesterol-lowering diet is essential for patients to manage their health concerns effectively. Here is a list of 12 cholesterol-lowering foods that patients should consider:
If you’re wondering what to eat to lower cholesterol, you definitely can’t overlook dishes made from salmon. Salmon has long been recognized as a nutritious food that is beneficial for health and helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, joint issues, and high blood pressure. Specifically, salmon is packed with protein, vitamin B12, B6, selenium, niacin, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, thiamine, astaxanthin, and pantothenic acid.
These compounds have antioxidant properties and are effective in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Additionally, consuming salmon can help reduce inflammation and combat the accumulation of plaque in arteries, thereby decreasing the risk of cardiovascular conditions such as atherosclerosis, rapid heartbeat, and chest pain.
If you’re wondering what to eat to lower cholesterol, you can consider incorporating oatmeal into your diet. This type of food is highly effective in reducing LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Research shows that consuming 40-60g of oatmeal powder per day can help eliminate about 10% of bad cholesterol in the body for individuals with high blood cholesterol.
The recommended forms of oatmeal to use are oatmeal powder and rolled oats. You can pair oatmeal with peanuts or avocado. However, it’s crucial to avoid combining it with cheese, chocolate, milk, or butter, as they contain high amounts of sugar and unhealthy fats that are not good for your health.
Dark chocolate is a food rich in flavonoids. These compounds have been proven to lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Additionally, they help reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the blood, increase good cholesterol, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Experts suggest that consuming two cups of hot cocoa daily for adults can reduce bad cholesterol levels by 6.5 mg/dl in about a month. Furthermore, issues related to cardiovascular health and blood pressure are positively managed. Remember to opt for dark chocolate with cocoa content of 75-85% and above. White chocolate and other types of chocolate contain high levels of sugar and fats, which are not beneficial for heart health.
Avocado contains a rich profile of healthy fats, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins, and more. These compounds have antioxidant properties, promote blood circulation, and help reduce the accumulation of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.
Moreover, studies have shown that consuming avocados does not lead to a decrease in good cholesterol levels. It is considered a solution to stabilize cholesterol levels in the body. Therefore, individuals can incorporate avocados into their daily diet to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Cabbage soup is a familiar dish in every family’s meal. Especially for individuals on a cholesterol-lowering diet, this green vegetable should not be overlooked. Cabbage contains various nutrients such as vitamin C, K, B6, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, glucosinolates, phytonutrients, flavonoids, and antioxidants.
Thanks to its rich nutritional content, cabbage offers numerous health benefits, including cancer prevention, cholesterol reduction, improved digestion, enhanced immune system, detoxification, allergy relief, weight management, and improved liver, cardiovascular, and joint health.
Specifically, cabbage soup is a source of soluble fiber, which helps flush out bad cholesterol from the body. Additionally, abundant allicin in cabbage soup aids in preventing cardiovascular diseases, protecting blood vessels from damage, and reducing the risk of strokes.
According to Boldsky, regular consumption of green beans can bring various cardiovascular health benefits. Specifically, this type of food helps increase the levels of good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. Additionally, green beans contain phytoestrogen hormones that promote blood circulation in arteries, reducing the risk of coronary artery disease and other heart-related conditions.
Green beans also play a role in regulating the blood sugar transportation ability of the enzyme amylase. Therefore, incorporating green beans into the daily diet can assist individuals in managing complications related to type 2 diabetes. For those dealing with obesity or overweight issues, green beans can be used to aid weight loss and regulate fat levels in the body.
Celery is one of the foods that cannot be overlooked when it comes to reducing cholesterol in the blood. This green vegetable contains high levels of compounds like L-3-n-butylphthalide, magnesium, and iron, which are effective in lowering blood fat levels. Additionally, its high fiber content and low calories support weight management for patients at an appropriate level, which is also crucial for reducing bad cholesterol in the body.
Furthermore, celery is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, B, C, E, K, P, iron, magnesium, potassium, tyrosine, manganese, and protein. These components play a role in inflammation reduction, blood sugar regulation, and effective blood pressure control. Consuming a glass of celery juice every day can help restore blood fat levels to a stable state.
Vegetable oils such as soybean oil, olive oil, almond oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil, etc., all contain significant amounts of omega-3, omega-6, and plant fibers. These compounds have the effect of inhibiting the absorption of bad cholesterol in the blood, increasing good cholesterol, and reducing inflammation. Consequently, they help reduce the risk of conditions like atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
Therefore, you can use vegetable oils as a replacement for animal fats in cooking. The active components like vitamins A, E, D, K, oleic acid, iron, potassium, etc., also contribute to boosting the body’s immune system, promoting wound healing, supporting eye and brain health, preventing cancer, and effective anti-aging. However, you should consume coconut oil in moderation as it contains a high amount of saturated fatty acids.
Nuts include hard-shell seeds such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, etc. These are highly effective cholesterol-lowering foods that patients should not overlook. Scientific studies have shown that nuts contain abundant phytosterols, which participate in the process of inhibiting the body’s absorption of bad cholesterol, helping reduce LDL cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol.
Additionally, nuts are rich in dietary fiber, beneficial for digestive, cardiovascular, and diabetic health. However, individuals should not consume excessive amounts of these fruits. Overindulgence can lead to excess calories, weight gain, and an increase in harmful cholesterol levels in the body.
Apples are one of the fruits that have a positive effect on reducing bad cholesterol in the body. They contain a significant amount of soluble fiber and iron, which work to reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Additionally, the natural polyphenolic antioxidants present in apples also slow down the aging process, aid in digestion, combat diarrhea, lower high blood pressure, manage diabetes, reduce blood lipids, and eliminate free radicals in the body.
Garlic is an essential cholesterol-lowering food that should not be overlooked. It is a familiar ingredient in every household kitchen. Garlic contains various nutrients like vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, allicin, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, etc. These components prevent the synthesis of bad cholesterol, helping control elevated blood lipid levels.
Patients can consume garlic in combination with lemon, as lemon contains flavonoids, pectin, and limonin that help reduce the accumulation of bad cholesterol in the blood vessels. Additionally, garlic can be eaten directly or incorporated into dishes such as Garlic Stir-fried Water Spinach, Garlic Beef Stir-fry, roasted garlic, garlic wine, and garlic vinegar, which have similar beneficial effects.
High cholesterol levels can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Among the fruits, bananas are effective in safely reducing cholesterol levels in the body. Bananas are mainly composed of fiber and potassium, which help balance blood sugar levels, reduce hunger pangs, and prevent the absorption of cholesterol from the intestines into the blood.
Additionally, the presence of vitamin C, magnesium, and natural sugars in bananas also enhances the body’s immune system. This support reduces the risk of clogged blood vessels in the brain and strokes in patients with high blood cholesterol. Therefore, it is recommended to consume 1-2 bananas daily to improve one’s health condition.
Note in the process of adjusting blood fat levels
In addition to actively using cholesterol-lowering foods, patients should pay attention to the following issues to avoid increasing bad cholesterol and neutral triglyceride fat:
- Limit the consumption of foods high in saturated fat, mainly from animal fats (except fish oil) such as butter, cold cuts, lard, and cheese. Instead, prioritize using unsaturated fats from various vegetable oils.
- Engage in regular physical exercise to strengthen muscles and bones, maintain health, burn excess fat, and keep your weight under control.
- Drink plenty of water, on average, each person should consume 2-2.5 liters of water daily. You can also include fruit juices and smoothies to increase the intake of vitamins and fiber.
- Avoid alcohol, beer, cigarettes, coffee, carbonated soft drinks, etc. As excessive alcohol consumption can raise triglyceride levels in the blood, increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases up to 10 times compared to normal individuals.
- Do not consume more than 500g of red meat per week. Instead, prioritize the consumption of white meat such as chicken, duck, and fish.
- Animal organs contain a high amount of fat. Frequent consumption not only increases the risk of gout but also raises cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Patients should limit the consumption of sweet cakes as they often contain a lot of butter and egg yolk. Both butter and egg yolks can raise cholesterol levels. If you still want to eat sweet cakes, you can use cakes made from egg whites, whole wheat flour, plant-based butter, crushed apples, or bananas.
The article above has introduced you to effective cholesterol-lowering foods that patients should consider. To effectively manage their health, patients should proactively schedule regular check-ups and blood tests every 3-6 months to monitor their blood fat levels. This way, they can receive more appropriate treatment methods.
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.