Apr 19, 2024, 11:20 AM IST

8 Healthy Foods for Lowering Bad Cholesterol

Emily Horn

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1. Oats  

Starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal or oat-based cereal is an excellent way to lower your cholesterol. Oats contain a type of fiber known as beta-glucan, which helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.

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2. Barley and Other Whole Grains 

Like oats, barley and other whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, mainly due to their soluble fiber content.

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3. Beans 

Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber, which binds to cholesterol and helps carry it out of the body before it can be absorbed. They're also very filling, which can help control weight.

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4. Nuts 

Several studies suggest that almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts are good for the heart. Eating nuts can lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 5%. Nuts have additional nutrients that protect the heart in other ways.

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5. Fatty Fish  

Eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.

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6. Avocados 

Avocados are a potent source of nutrients as well as monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase the good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL).

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7. Fruits rich in pectin 

Fruits like apples, grapes, strawberries, and citrus fruits are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that lowers LDL.

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8. Soy 

Eating soybeans and foods made from them, like tofu and soy milk, was once touted as a powerful way to lower cholesterol. Analyses show the effect is more modest — consuming 25 grams of soy protein a day (10 ounces of tofu or 2 1/2 cups of soy milk) can lower LDL by 5% to 6%.

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