Enjoy an extensive list of foods that help to lower your cholesterol like delicious homemade food and juices. Change your diet easily with this list of all foods that help you to lower your bad cholesterol. Clear info about what is good and bad cholesterol.
What is cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy substance. It is made by your body and carried around in your blood.
Cholesterol is required to build and maintain cell membranes; it regulates membrane fluidity. There is:
- "good" cholesterol: HDL cholesterol
- "bad" cholesterol: LDL cholesterol
Since cholesterol is essential for proper cell life, the terms "good" and "bad" are quite a simplification in understanding the complex processes involved.
When cholesterol levels are too high:
- some of the cholesterol is deposited on the walls of the blood vessels.
- Over time, the deposits can build up causing:
- the blood vessels to narrow and
- blood flow to decrease.
The cholesterol in food, like saturated fat, tends to raise blood cholesterol, which increases the risk for heart disease.
Total blood cholesterol levels:
- desirable: under 200 mg/dl
- borderline high: between 200-239 mg/dl
- high: above 240 mg/dl
What is good cholesterol
Good cholesterol or HDL cholesterol (High Density) can remove cholesterol from cells.
The amount of good cholesterol in your body is determined by:
- body build,
- medications and
- food choices.
What is bad cholesterol
Bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol (Low Density) can clog up your arteries. Imagine cholesterol being the lubricant of your arteries:
- good cholesterol works like oil in an engine
- bad cholesterol works like grease in a machine: too much grease in a small pipe however can clog the pipe.
List of all foods that help to lower cholesterol
Rule of thumb:
- when you can see liquid oil, the food most likely will increase your good cholesterol
- when food is solid and fat, without liquid oil (butter, cookies) they will increase your bad cholesterol
Use the oil-grease analogy when you by foods:
Diets for high cholesterol, that is: diets to lower cholesterol levels, should include lots of fruits and vegetables, replace meat with fish and use oil for cooking. Find below a list of foods that lower cholesterol.
- All types of fruits, especially currants, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, citrus fruits, apples, avocados, olives
- "An apple a day keeps the doctor away". 2 full apples, or 12 ounces of apple juice, if taken everyday, can reduce your risk of heart diseases by as much as 50%
- Blueberries: a compound in blueberries (pterostilbene) may help lower cholesterol as effectively as commercial drugs with fewer side effects
- 100% cranberry-grape juice: antioxidants in grape juice slow down LDL cholesterol oxidation, and cranberry juice raises HDL or “good” cholesterol
- Pomegranate juice: pomegranate juice reduces cholesterol plaque buildup and increases nitric oxide production to help reduce arterial plaque
- Avocados: 26 of the 30 grams of fat in an avocado are heart-healthy, unsaturated fats that can increase your levels of HDL cholesterol. The good fats in avocados, olives, and olive oil protect against heart disease and diabetes.
- All vegetables, especially onion, watercress, leeks, spinach, carrots, artichokes, avocado, broccoli, kale Brussels sprouts and cauliflower
- Eating just half a raw onion everyday can increase your HDL levels by 25% and lower your LDL as well.
- fresh garlic : 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.
- Dried or canned beans, peas and lentils: 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.
- Vegetable oils: Unsaturated Fats: 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 oil, peanut oil, 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.
- Whole grains and oats: people whose diets contain loots of whole grains have the thinnest carotid artery walls and show the slowest progression in artery wall thickness
- Whole wheat bread
- Nuts: Pistachios, Walnuts, Almonds, Pecan nuts, soy nuts…
- a study showed that eating pistachios significantly lowers LDL cholesterol levels
- Flaxseed and flaxseed oil: flaxseed oil can lower blood pressure in men with high cholesterol.
- Fish like salmon, swordfish, tuna and trout
- Black soybean products
- Corn, fresh, frozen or canned.
- Yogurt with live active cultures (probiotics): probiotics Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Lactobacillus Reuteri actually help lower cholesterol. They work by preventing the re-absorption of cholesterol back in to the blood stream.”
- spices: fenugreek, turmeric
- green tea and black tea are also known to lower LDL cholesterol in your body.
List of foods that help to lower cholesterol summarized
To lower your cholesterol levels, change your diet to:
- more vegetables and fruits, try out to blend your own juices and smoothies
- whole grains and oats
- cook with vegetable oil
- stay away from foods containing solid, saturated fats (cookies, potato chips…)
Following a diet based on the above list of foods that help to lower your cholesterol and adding more exercise in your daily routine will guaranteed lower your cholesterol levels.