Is your cholesterol too high? Mine was too in the past, but it all changed for the better after adjusting my lifestyle and eating more cholesterol-friendly foods. Those helped me to reduce my levels without the need of cholesterol lowering medication.
Although it is important to get your daily dose of cholesterol, it is essential for many of your body’s functions, most people simply get too much of it. High levels of bad or LDL cholesterol has been linked to an increased risk of developing a heart disease.
Here are my top 10 cholesterol-friendly foods to add to your daily diet to reduce your cholesterol naturally.
Almonds contain a special compound that prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This is important to avoid damage to the lining of the blood vessels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Make sure to eat them with the skin, because that’s where these powerful compounds are hiding.
Keep in mind, nuts are high in calories. Avoid eating too much of them or your weight will go up. A handful a day should be enough.
2. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are loaded with lutein, a compound known to fight age-related macular degeneration. But it can also help reduce the risk of heart diseases. It prevents cholesterol built-ups and clogged arteries.
Click here to download my free green smoothie eBook to sneak more of these leafy greens into your diet.
Avocados contain heart healthy monounsaturated fats and beta-sitosterol that lower LDL cholesterol, keep HDL in check, and reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed from other foods you eat.
Lycopene, the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color, may also help to reduce your cholesterol. Did you know that cooking or eating tomatoes with a little olive or coconut oil helps your body to absorb more lycopene?
Adding more garlic to your dishes will not only enhance the flavor, but protect your heart as well. It reduces the risk of blood clots, reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, and stops artery clogging.
6. Beans, Peas, and Lentils
Beans, lentils, and peas are packed with cholesterol lowering soluble fibers. When those fibers come in contact with water they form a gel that binds acids and cholesterol. This prevents them from entering your body and are eliminated via your stool. Studies show that only 1 cup of any beans, lentils, or peas a day can lower your cholesterol with up to 10% in just a few weeks.
Blueberries are amongst the most nutrient-dense food sources on Earth. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibers to help your body keep cholesterol in balance.
8. Oats, Oatmeal, and Barley
Oats and barley are another great sources of soluble fibers to flush out toxins and cholesterol. If you buy oats, barley or other whole grains make sure they don’t contain sugar-laden add-ins and opt for the ones that are least processed. Steel-cut are best.
9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3’s, found in fish, seeds, and nuts are heart-friendly fats. They reduce the risk of blood clots, lower high blood pressure, and lower LDL cholesterol.
10.Raw Cacao Beans, Powder, Or Nibs
Great in smoothies or sugar- and dairy-free desserts. Cacao’s antioxidants prevent oxidation of bad cholesterol and keep your arteries clean and unclogged. So when you’re craving a sweet treat, best to add raw cacao instead of sugar, honey or any other sweetener you use.
This is my top 10, but there are actually plenty more sources of healthy soluble fibers. Fruit and vegetables are low in fat and high in these cholesterol lowering fibers. Eat at least 5-7 servings a day to provide your body with enough fibers. Whole unprocessed grains are another great source. Make sure to buy the ones that are the least processed and don’t contain sugary add-ins or artificial sweeteners.