Cholesterol is present in our bodies by one of two ways; our liver produces cholesterol and we eat foods containing cholesterol. High amounts of cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol that is bad for us, can lead to many health complications and significantly increase your risk of heart diseases.
While there are many foods that are high in LDL cholesterol, there are a lot, which can actually help to lower your LDL cholesterol levels and increase your HDL cholesterol or the good cholesterol. Here’s a list of foods that lower cholesterol, which is a must have for anyone who is trying to reduce their LDL levels and increase their HDL levels.
Apples: Everyone has heard of the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well, apples are also very good for lowering your LDL cholesterol levels. 2 full apples, or 12 ounces of apple juice, if taken everyday, can reduce your risk of heart diseases by as much as 50%.
Garlic helps to lower LDL cholesterol and thins your blood naturally. This prevents clogging up of arteries and thus lowers your risk of heart diseases.
Eating just half a raw onion everyday can increase your HDL levels by 25% and lower your LDL as well.
Beans and Legumes
These contain soluble fiber which helps to increase your HDL cholesterol and reduce your LDL cholesterol. All kinds of beans and legumes such as pinto, kidney, black-eyed, lentils, pink beans, etc are good for your heart.
Contrary to the misconception that all kinds of fat are bad for you, unsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids can actually be good for your heart. Monounsaturated fats (olive oil, canola, peanut, and almond oil) and polyunsaturated fats (corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil etc) increase the HDL cholesterol and lower the LDL cholesterol and are thus good for your heart.
Other Cholesterol Lowering Foods: Oats, fenugreek, artichokes, turmeric, guggul, green tea, nuts, and black tea, are all known to lower LDL cholesterol in your body.
Of course, diet is no substitute for a doctor’s care when you are ill. Diet and nutrition represent “the other side of the coin” and always inform your doctor whenever you make a dietary change, especially if you are on a pharmaceutical drug.