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Powerful Foods To
Lower Cholesterol

A well balanced diet will include foods to lower cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol, this is even more important. Here you will find nutrient dense, high fiber foods for improving your overall health.

This superfoods list is taken from the book "Superfoods RX" by Steven Pratt, M.D. and Kathy Matthews.

Continue reading and find out for yourself which are the most effective foods to lower cholesterol. You will also learn the incredible benefits these foods provide for other areas of health.


Legumes (Beans)

Beans are a category of superfoods that include all legumes such as pinto, lentils, and garbanzo. They also include some you may not think of such as green beans, sugar snap peas and green peas. Even refried beans are healthy; just make sure to check the label to be sure they don't have lard added.

Beans are full of vitamins, high in protein, low in fat and inexpensive. They have been shown to be foods to lower cholesterol, lessen the risk for cancer, stabilize blood sugar and fight heart disease. For this reason, they are included on the superfoods list.

It's the fiber and plant sterols in beans that makes them effective cholesterol lowering foods.

Try to include at least four 1/2 cup servings of beans each week.

Blueberries

Blueberries are very high in antioxidants, in fact they contain more than any other fruit or vegetable. Included in this group are strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, cranberries, purple grapes, currants and all other types of berries, fresh, dried or frozen.

Eating 1 or 2 cups each day will help with aging, maintaining healthy skin, the prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, senility, cancer and degenerative eye diseases.

All types of berries should be eaten. Try puting them on top of cereal or throw some into your yogurt smoothie in the morning.


Broccoli

Along with broccoli are included cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, turnips, Swiss chard, mustard greens, kale, collard and bok chow.

These are all fiber rich foods and thus are foods to lower cholesterol. Eating 1/2 to 1 cup each day will help guard against cancer, neural tube birth defects, cataracts, and heart disease. Broccoli should be eaten both raw and cooked for its full benefits.

Raw broccoli has a greater amount of vitamin C, but cooked provides a higher concentration of carotenoids. About 30% of cancers can be prevented by diet. Broccoli and its family of other vegetables can have a significant effect on the risk of developing cancer especially cancers of the lung, colon, rectum and stomach.

Make these vegetables the centerpiece of a diet for lowering cholesterol.


Oats

Oats stand out among the foods to lower cholesterol. They also reduce heart disease and can reduce the chance of some cancers. Wheat germ and ground flaxseed are rich in plant based omega-3 and are known to lower triglycerides.

Flax seed benefits for the body go beyond lowering cholesterol. Add them to your meals whenever possible.

The oat category includes foods such as wheat, brown rice, couscous and yellow corn.

For the best results, be sure and eat a variety of this category. Oats are inexpensive, low in calories and packed with protein. These foods contain large amounts of magnesium, zinc, selenium and thiamine. Add flaxmeal and wheat germ to your cereal or yogurt for extra nutrition.


Oranges

We all know that oranges are high in vitamin C. Did you know that they also promote a healthy heart, prevent stroke, diabetes and cancer?

This category also includes lemons, limes and grapefruit. We can obtain our RDA of vitamin C from a cup of orange juice from concentrate, but many of us are using pre-made cartons of juice, which reduces the amount of vitamin C obtained.

Because they are so healthy, we should all be eating more oranges. In addition, they provide fiber, folate, limoncene and potassium. They also include flavinoids, which are an anti- inflammatory and keep cancer cells from growing.


Pumpkin

Don't relegate pumpkin to one or two days out of the year. Pumpkin is high in fiber, low in calories and contains vitamins C & E, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, potassium and magnesium. Carotene, the orange/yellow colored pigment in this plant helps to prevent cancer, cataracts, slows the aging process and lowers the risk of heart disease.

Carotene is one nutrient that you can't obtain through a supplement - so eat your carrots (and pumpkin.) Carrots should be enjoyed both raw and fresh. This category also includes other winter squash and sweet potatoes.

The most effective cholesterol lowering diet will contain many foods from this category. This high fiber diet will quickly bring down high cholesterol readings.


Salmon

Salmon is high in Omega-3 and widely known as a food that raises HDL (good cholesterol), controls hypertension, prevents cancer and age related degeneration. Omega-3 contained in salmon is often recommended for depression and diseases such as lupus and arthritis.

Other foods in this category would include halibut, trout, sea bass, tuna, oysters and clams.


Spinach

Most people are aware of the value of eating spinach. It helps to guard against cardiovascular diseases, cataracts, cancer and age related diseases. Spinach keeps cholesterol from building up on the walls of the blood vessels.

Other foods in this category are romaine lettuce, bok choy, Swiss chard and mustard greens. Orange bell peppers are also included in this category.


Tea

Tea (green and black) is extremely healthy. It is healthy for the heart by lowering blood pressure and lowering LDL cholesterol levels.

Tea has a host of other benefits such as helping to prevent cancer, cataracts, and skin damage from the sun. It even has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-allergy characteristics.

Enjoy at least 1 cup each day, either hot or iced.


Tomatoes

Tomatoes are actually healthier in canned form as they release more lycopene during processing. Tomato puree has 9 times the amount of lycopene as compared to a fresh, medium-sized tomato. Lycopene is not found in many foods.

In addition to tomatoes, other sources are red watermelon and pink grapefruit. These are excellent foods to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure in addition to help prevent cancer.


Turkey

Turkey is an excellent choice for protein; just remove the skin so that it is low fat. Turkey (and chicken to a lesser degree) helps lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.

They are rich in niacin and vitamins B-6 and B-12 which lowers homocysteine levels that are associated with cholesterol.


Nuts

We tend to stay away from nuts because of their high fat content, but eating walnuts, pecans, almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are all good foods to lower cholesterol and decrease your chance of coronary artery disease.

Walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are high in the essential amino acid, arginine, which reduces blood pressure.

Because of their high fat content, limit your consumption to just a handful a day.


Yogurt

Yogurt strengthens the immune system and helps prevent infections. Just make sure that it contains live cultures, or it is nothing more than a sugary snack.

Two cups of yogurt per day will lower cholesterol and blood pressure, help allergies, ulcers, diarrhea, and may prevent irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.


Remember...There is nothing like whole foods to lower cholesterol. Try to include as many of these foods in your diet as possible.

Do you still have high cholesterol even after increasing the amount of foods to lower cholesterol in your diet? You may want to consider cholesterol lowering supplements. Click here to learn about a cholesterol lowering product that contains natural ingredients that have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. Visit the Cholestasys website.

More than Foods to Lower Cholesterol on our Heart Healthy Foods page.