How to Eat to Lower Your Cholesterol

Eat to Lower Your Cholesterol
Eat to Lower Your Cholesterol

How to Eat to Lower Your Cholesterol. We can't change the genes that may contribute to high cholesterol, but we can change our diets. Eating to lower cholesterol is effective and can be delicious.

Things You'll Need

  • Flaxseed
  • Fruits
  • Garlic
  • Kidney Beans
  • Oatmeal
  • Soy Foods Like Tofu
  • Vegetables
  • White Beans

Eat more garlic. Add it to pasta, soups and vegetables.

Increase your intake of soy foods. Enjoy more tofu, green soybeans (edamame), tempeh and TVP (texturized vegetable protein).

Add beans to your diet three to five times a week. Try lentil soup, black beans and rice, and hummus, and toss kidney beans into green salads.

Include a serving of fiber-rich fruit or vegetables at every meal and snack.

Substitute olive oil or canola oil for butter, margarine and other oils in cooking.

Eat vegetarian meals more often. Meats are high in cholesterol-raising saturated fats.

Think of meat and poultry as condiments, to add flavor to vegetables, grains and beans, rather than as the main dish.

Choose products free of hydrogenated oils. Read cookie and cracker labels - these foods are common sources of cholesterol-raising hydrogenated oils.

Increase your intake of soluble fiber from sources like oats, flaxseed, barley, sweet potatoes and carrots.

Look for margarine with cholesterol-lowering plant stanols, if you have to have margarine on your toast.

Keep moving - aerobic exercise such as walking, bicycling, running or jumping rope raises levels of "good" HDL cholesterol.

Tips & Warnings

  • A desirable total cholesterol level is less than 200 mg/dl.
  • LDL is considered the "bad" cholesterol that increases your risk of heart disease.
  • HDL is considered the "good" cholesterol. Your heart disease risk is lower when HDL is above 60 mg/dl.
  • Studies have shown that drinking apple juice daily can help keep cholesterol low. The juice contains high levels of phenol, which reduces LDL oxidation, the process that can lead to heart disease.
  • Enlist the help of a registered dietitian (RD) to ease making changes in your diet.
  • Talk to your doctor before taking the vitamin niacin to lower cholesterol. While niacin can be effective, it may also have side effects like flushing, headaches, diarrhea, heartburn and nausea.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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