Of all the steps you can take to lower your cholesterol, diet probably is one of the most important and fastest, so switch to a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Eliminate both trans and saturated fats, and limit your intake of dietary cholesterol. To do this, try to keep your total saturated fat below 7 percent of your caloric intake and your dietary cholesterol anywhere between 200 to 300 mg each day.
As you work to eliminate and reduce your fat and dietary cholesterol, incorporate healthier foods into your diet. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are the best. Spinach, kale, watercress, leeks, onions, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, legumes, soybeans and artichokes all are ideal vegetables for lowering your cholesterol. Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, apples and citrus can go a long way toward reducing the cholesterol in your blood. Oatmeal, flax and any products made with whole grains are great dietary choices when dealing with high cholesterol.
However, you don't have to be a vegan to reduce your cholesterol, so feel free to include some dairy, meats and fats into your diet. Stick to low-fat dairy, such as skim milk, yogurt and reduced-fat cheese. Eat lean meats and fish; try chicken, salmon, trout, mackerel, herring and tuna. Almonds, pecans, walnuts and olive oil all contain "good" fats that can help lower cholesterol.
You also should consider incorporating foods rich in fiber, stanols and sterols into your diet. These three dietary substances all are believed to favorably impact your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and thereby lower your blood cholesterol.