If you are looking to lower your cholesterol levels, a good place to start is with the foods you eat. Of the factors that increase one's risk for heart disease, an unhealthy diet, is one of the easiest to remedy. You want to have a diet that is low in saturated fats and high in cholesterol-reducing foods. Below is a brief list of foods that lower cholesterol.
1. Fish. Although you should stay away from most meats if you want to lower your cholesterol, fish is one animal product you can consume that is actually improvements cholesterol levels. This is because fish is low in saturated fat and high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 is incredibly effective at lowering your body's bad cholesterol levels. Some of the types of fish that contain the most Omega-3 include tuna, trout, and salmon. Just make sure not to fry your fish, as eating fried foods is one of the worst things you can do for your cholesterol levels.
2. Olive oil. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and oleic acid, both of which are good for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Olive oil is an ideal cholesterol buster because it both lowers cholesterol levels and raises the good ones.
3. Avocado. This tasty food is also high in monounsaturated fats and oleic acids. However, even though the fat avocados contain is good fat, it can still lead to weight gain, and being overweight will increase your cholesterol. Eat this fruit in moderation.
4. Chocolate. You may be surprised to see this one on a list of foods that lower cholesterol, but it's true. One ounce of dark chocolate contains ten times the antioxidants that are found in a strawberry, and is good for both lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol. As with the avocado, however, chocolate can lead to weight gain, so do not have too much more than an ounce.
5. Carrots. We all know that carrots are good for your health because they are high in vitamins A and C, but they are also good for lowering your cholesterol. Carrots contain calcium pectate, a type of fiber that binds bile acids. These bile acids assist in carrying cholesterol out of our systems.
6. Popcorn. This is another food you may not have expected to make the list of foods that lower cholesterol. While it is true that popcorn can be very unhealthy if you drench it in butter, plain popcorn is a great snack for people who are trying to keep their cholesterol in check because it is full of soluble fiber.
7. Beans. Beans are a good alternative to cholesterol raising meat when you are looking for a way to get protein. Not only are they high in protein, but beans are also low in fat and full of the fiber you need to bring down your cholesterol levels. Some types of beans even contain helpful Omega-3 fatty acids.
This is just a short list of foods that lower cholesterol levels, but it is a good place to start if you are trying to develop healthier eating habits. As a general rule, just try to eat more monounsaturated fats, fiber, and Omega-3, and stay away from unsaturated fats. If you do this, your cholesterol levels are sure to improve.