Cholesterol can be a HUGE problem for many people, especially those of us in the Western world. When you eat a lot of trans and saturated fats–the unhealthy fats found in a lot of our food–you end up with cholesterol clogging your arteries, reducing your circulation, and increasing your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Thankfully, there are a lot of cholesterol lowering foods to help get rid of cholesterol and keep your heart in great shape:
Beans are one of the best plant-based sources of protein, and they have NO fat whatsoever–making them a good replacement for beef, chicken, and dairy products. They are also one of the best sources of digestive fiber, which helps to clear cholesterol from your digestive tract. Plus, black and pinto beans are loaded with heart-friendly antioxidants.
Yet another fiber-rich food, oats are one of the best things to have for breakfast. A serving of oats is loaded with the cholesterol-fighting fiber your body needs, as well as a lot of protein, plenty of carbs, and even some healthy fats. Adding a bit of fruit (especially bananas) into your oatmeal is one of the best ways to fight cholesterol the healthy way.
Nuts are a good source of fiber, but they’re also loaded with the healthy fats that will boost your body’s production of HDL cholesterol–the “good” kind that will fight the “bad” cholesterol. All nuts are good for your heart, provided you eat them in moderation.
If you’re serious about lowering your cholesterol, adding whole grains to your diet is one of the smartest things you can do. Whole grains are important due to the fact that they are LOADED with fiber, which helps to clear the cholesterol from your body. Barley, quinoa, brown rice, millet, and other whole grains will do wonders for your heart.
There are many fruits to eat to clear away cholesterol, but apples are one of the best. Apples are loaded with pectin, a form of fiber that gets rid of cholesterol and fights heart disease. Grapes and strawberries are also excellent for your heart, thanks to the antioxidants and Vitamin C they contain. Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges are very heart-smart foods, as the Vitamin C in these fruits will help to prevent oxidation of the cholesterol.
Did you know that eating a bit more fat can help to lower your cholesterol? Fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation and prevent the hardening of the cholesterol in your arteries. The Omega-3s will help to reduce cholesterol in your body, and will do a lot to prevent many other heart diseases.
Pretty much EVERY soy product on the planet is a heart-smart food, as soy is loaded with nutrients that will help to lower your cholesterol. Soy beans are probably the best form of soy to eat, but you can eat tofu, drink soy milk, or even add soy protein to your meals. You’ll find that eating more soy is a good way to fight cholesterol and improve your heart health!
For those who are serious about fighting cholesterol, nothing does the job like veggies! Vegetables are high in fiber, which means that they will absorb a lot of the cholesterol from the food BEFORE it is absorbed by your body. Veggies are also very low in fat, so they won’t add any more dietary cholesterol. Basically, the more veggies you eat, the healthier you will be in EVERY way!