Cholesterol is a type of fat that is essential to cell membrane functioning. Our body already produces all the cholesterol it needs to work properly. When our diet is too rich in cholesterol-forming foods, it produces too much LDL cholesterol, the kind that clogs the arteries and increases risks of cardiovascular diseases. Luckily, there are some foods that naturally lowers LDL cholesterol levels while keeping HDL (good) cholesterol levels steady.
7 best foods to lower cholesterol
1- Healthy fats: Switching from animal fats to healthier fats sources like olive oil or other polyunsaturated fats is probably the most powerful thing you can do to lower your cholesterol levels. A diet rich in olive oil could lower your LDL cholesterol levels by as much as 18%.
2- Flaxseed: Flaxseed has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol by 8% to 14%. And what’s the interesting is that people with higher cholesterol levels benefits the most from consuming flaxseed.
3- Garlic: Eating 900 mg of raw garlic per day can lower cholesterol by up to 12%. You can add raw garlic to homemade vinaigrette, soups and vegetable juices, or consider taking supplements.
4- Nuts: Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats, which have cholesterol-lowering properties. Eating walnuts regularly could lower cholesterol levels by about 10%.
5- Bran: Bran from whole grains can reduce cholesterol levels by up to 7-10%. Try switching from white flour products to whole grain ones, and consider other grains than wheat. Barley, brown rice and whole oats all make a healthy change to wheat.
6- Antioxidants: Flavonol, antioxidant contained in cocoa, and lycopene, found in red colored foods, can lower cholesterol levels by 2 to 5%. Antioxidants are part of the phytosterol family, a substance that inhibits cholesterol absorption.
7- Green tea: Green tea is known to help flush out fat from the body. Studies shown that green tea can lower cholesterol levels by 2 to 5%.