Cholesterol Reducing Foods
How They Work

Cholesterol reducing foods are not magic. The scientific evidence surrounding the ability of certain foods to lower high cholesterol readings is overwhelming.

As a matter of fact, in spite of what you may hear from the manufacturers of statin drugs, consuming these foods is the only safe and effective way to keep lipid levels where they belong. Here is why.

It has been shown that the foods that lower your cholesterol can reduce high cholesterol readings just as effectively as statin medication. However, if you have recently learned from your doctor that you need to lower your high cholesterol readings, he probably has recommended that you use these drugs to improve your lipid levels.

With the severe side effects that many people experience with statin medications, the safest approach to healthy cholesterol levels is to increase the amounts of food that lowers cholesterol in your diet.

Many individuals are surprised to learn that there are actually foods that contain natural cholesterol lowering substances. These substances fall into three primary categories:

1. Soluble Fiber
2. Plant Sterols
3. Nutrients

There is a wealth of scientific research supporting the ability of all three of these substances found in nature to reduce high cholesterol. The best cholesterol fighting foods contain high levels of all three categories.

Removing Cholesterol from the Body

Soluble fiber has been shown to help lower cholesterol in two ways. First of all, it has been shown that cholesterol attaches itself to fiber in the intestines. It is then easily eliminated from the body without ever having a chance to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Fiber also works in a second powerful way. Bile Acids that are produced by the liver are also eliminated from the intestines when we eat high fiber foods, making it necessary for the liver to increase its production of bile.

Amazingly, the liver removes cholesterol from the bloodstream in order to produce increased amounts of bile acid. The net result of a diet that is high in fiber is a substantial decrease in the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Blocking the Absorption of Cholesterol

The second substance that is found in cholesterol reducing foods are plant sterols. Although not as well understood as dietary fiber, sterols can be just as effective, if not more so than fiber at reducing blood lipid levels.

Sterols are naturally occurring substances that are found in all plants. The molecular makeup of plant sterols is very similar to the molecular makeup of cholesterol.

It is believed by scientists that this similarity makes it possible for the sterols in cholesterol reducing foods to compete with cholesterol for absorption into the bloodstream.

The scientific proof for the ability of plant sterols to block the absorption of cholesterol is so overwhelming that the traditional medical community as well as the FDA are recommending the addition of foods that contain plant sterols to the diet in order to support a healthy heart.

Nourishing the Body

The third category of cholesterol lowering substances are the nutrients that are found in cholesterol fighting foods. There are actually two different types of nutrients to be considered here.

First, there are nutrients that help reduce high cholesterol levels directly such as chromium. The food that lowers cholesterol will contain very high levels of this nutrient.

However, there is a very important, but often overlooked reason to be eating these high nutrient foods. A diet that is rich in vegetables, fruit, nuts and whole grains will satisfy the nutritional needs of your body, which will reduce cravings.

As cravings are reduced you will lose weight which most individuals with high cholesterol need to do anyway. It has been shown that for every pound of weight that is lost, there is a corresponding decrease in cholesterol levels.

The most effective cholesterol reducing foods are those that contain the highest amounts of fiber, plant sterols and the nutrients. Learn more about which foods contain high quantities of these powerful natural substances on our foods good for lowering cholesterol page.

More than Cholesterol Reducing Foods on the Foods that Lower Cholesterol page