Certain foods have been linked to a decrease in heart disease by lowering your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
Here are four of my favourite cholesterol-fighting foods. If your blood pressure levels are pre-hypertensive (120/80 millimetres of mercury), I recommend working with your doctor to add these items to your diet.
Black beans, pinto, red, white, lentils—these are all excellent sources of soluble fibre. Think of soluble fibre as a sponge that binds to blood cholesterol and helps eliminate it from your body.
Just ½ cup of beans can provide 5 to 10 grams of fibre. Add a lentil soup to your next order at a Mediterranean restaurant. Or throw some black beans into your salsa. Or toss a half-cup of cooked red beans with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a super-simple side dish.
All whole oat grains contain a particular type of fibre, called beta-glucan. Multiple scientific studies show that consuming beta-glucan can help lower LDL cholesterol, sometimes by as much as seven per cent.
Mix ¼ cup rolled oats, ½ cup plain kefir, 1 cup of your favourite Greek yogurt, and a handful of berries. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy the next morning.
All teas may help lower your LDL cholesterol, but a number of studies have shown that drinking a couple cups of green tea a day works best at lowering cholesterol compared to any other tea.
If you hate the taste of green tea, try squeezing in a little fresh lemon juice. The acidity will help to cut the grassy flavour.
(Not only can it help with blood pressure, but it’s also good for sensitive teeth.)
They’re packed with fibre, healthy fats, protein, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. While all nuts seem to lower blood cholesterol, one recent review found that pistachios possessed a potent power to decrease total cholesterol. It also had other health benefits like increasing your sperm count.
By Chris Mohr, PH.D., R.D.