5 Foods that Lower Your Bad Cholesterol Levels

foods that lower bad cholesterol levels
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5 Foods that Lower Your Bad Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is an important substance that your body needs to build healthy cells. Maintaining a healthy cholesterol level is the key to your overall health. High cholesterol levels in your blood can stick to your arteries, narrow them, making it hard for blood to circulate throughout the body. In addition, higher cholesterol levels can increase your risk of stroke, coronary artery diseases, and other serious heart diseases. Making some heart-healthy lifestyle changes, weight management, regular physical activity and adding some healthy foods to your diet can help improve your cholesterol level.

Your diet can play an important role when it comes to lowering your cholesterol levels. There are many healthy foods that can promote heart health, reduce the risk of diabetes, and lower cholesterol levels.  Eating a diet that contains fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthy foods that lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol that contribute to artery-clogging atherosclerosis can help you naturally reduce cholesterol level.

Let’s explore some healthy foods that can naturally lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of developing heart diseases and stroke.

  1. Avocado
  2. Salmon
  3. Legumes
  4. Nuts
  5. Oats and Barley

1. Avocados

Avocados are incredibly healthy fruit that can do wonders for your health. The nutrient-dense food is loaded with vitamin C, E, K, B6, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. It is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene, and lutein. One of the most important benefits of adding avocados to your diet is that it helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. It contains a natural plant substance, beta-sitosterol, that is similar to cholesterol and limits the amount of cholesterol that can enter the body.

Are you thinking of adding avocados to your diet? Here are some delicious ways to cook avocados for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

  • Creamy Avocado Smoothie
  • Avocado Tomatillo Breakfast Tacos
  • Strawberry Basil Avocado Toast
  • Bacon Avocado Fries
  • Artichoke Avocado Toast
  • Loaded Sweet Potato Avocado Toast
  • Avocado Vegetable Summer Rolls
  • Tomato, Peach & Avocado Bruschetta
  • Avocado Tomato Salad
  • Basil Avocado Shrimp Salad Wraps
  • Caprese Avocado Toast
  • Avocado Hummus
  • Taco Stuffed Avocados
  • Burrito Avocados
  • Avocado Chips
  • Avocado Shrimp Burgers
  • Avocado Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Sweet Potato Avocado Tartare

2. Salmon

Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health by increasing HDL (high-lipid density lipoproteins) or good cholesterol levels by reducing inflammation and the risk of stroke. Fishes, including tuna, salmon, and mackerel are the most important parts of Mediterranean diet that are also good for your heart health.

Here are some super easy and highly nutritious salmon recipes that can help maintain a good cholesterol level and promote your heart health.

  • Smoked salmon and avocado tartine
  • Thai baked salmon
  • Garlic honey-ginger glazed salmon with broccoli
  • Salmon and summer veggies in foil
  • Maple Bacon Salmon
  • Broiled Salmon
  • Blackened Salmon Tacos
  • Creamy Coconut Lime Salmon
  • Tuscan Butter Salmon
  • Smoked Salmon Pasta
  • Salmon Meatballs
  • Bruschetta Salmon
  • Baked Pineapple Salmon
  • Creamed Spinach Stuffed Salmon
  • Cilantro Lime Salmon
  • Balsamic-Glazed Salmon
  • Ginger Salmon with Sesame Cucumbers
  • Lemon Grilled Salmon

3. Legumes

Pulses or legumes are basically the seeds that belong to a group of plant foods, Fabaceae. They include beans, lentils, peas, soybeans, peanuts, and chickpeas. They are an amazing source of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and protein. Taking a daily dose of beans, lentils and peas can significantly drop bad cholesterol levels, promote healthier arteries and decrease your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Some studies also suggest that they can significantly reduce weight. It is because beans are rich in soluble fibre that takes a while for the stomach to digest; it will eventually make you feel satiated for long and reduce hunger.

From sandwiches to dips, salads to soups, sauces to main dishes, there are hundreds of thousands of ways to cook legumes or pulses. Try these beans, lentils, and legume recipes and harness the goodness of these magical seeds.

  • Artichoke, spinach and white bean dip
  • Chickpea polenta with olives
  • Chickpea polenta with olives
  • Bean salad with balsamic vinaigrette
  • Black bean burgers with chipotle ketchup
  • Black bean quesadillas
  • Black bean wrap
  • Creole-style black-eyed peas
  • Linguine with garbanzo beans and arugula
  • Pasta with grilled chicken, white beans and mushrooms
  • Pasta with spinach, garbanzos, and raisins
  • Quick bean and tuna salad
  • Rice and beans salad
  • Split pea soup
  • Tofu triangles with peanut sauce
  • Tuscan white bean stew
  • Vegetable, lentil and garbanzo bean stew
  • Yellow lentils with spinach and ginger
  • Bean salad with balsamic vinaigrette
  • French green lentil salad
  • Mixed bean salad
  • Quick bean and tuna salad
  • Rice and beans salad
  • Black bean burgers with chipotle ketchup
  • Guacamole with beans
  • Black bean cakes
  • Green beans with red pepper and garlic
  • Lentil ragout
  • Gazpacho with chickpeas
  • Split pea soup
  • Turkey bean soup
  • Tuscan white bean stew

4. Nuts

Many studies have shown that eating walnuts, peanuts, and almonds can help you improve your heart health. Eating a recommended daily dose of nuts can help lower LDL and keep your heart healthy. These amazingly nutrient-packed foods contain monosaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, L-arginine, phytosterols, calcium, potassium, and magnesium that help reduce blood pressure and lower blood cholesterol levels by blocking its absorption in your intestine.

Do you want to add these cholesterol-lowering foods to your diet to improve your heart health? Here are some creative ways to cook nuts.

  • Glazed almonds
  • Honey Roasted Peanuts
  • Caramelized Peanuts
  • Brown Sugared Walnuts
  • Candied Walnuts
  • Caramel Nuts
  • Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans
  • Caramelized Macadamia Nuts
  • Coconut-Covered Cashews
  • Pistachio and ham salad
  • Hazelnut parfait
  • Raw nut butter
  • Lemon, cashew parsley dip
  • Date, walnut and pecan loaf
  • Chipotle-lime mixed nuts
  • Nut crackers
  • Almond cake
  • Pecan pie
  • Banana Walnut Bread

5. Oats and Barley

Oats, barley and other whole grains are the best cholesterol-lowering foods that are good for your heart health. Start your day with cholesterol-lowering food oats that can lower your risk of heart diseases and stroke. Oats and barley contain soluble fibre, beta-glucan that has an amazing property to lower cholesterol levels. The soluble dietary fibre present in oats and barely sticks to cholesterol and prevents it from being absorbed by the intestine and stops it from entering your arteries.

A morning bowl of oatmeal is a healthy breakfast option to provide you with fibre, vitamins, minerals, and protein. To enhance its nutritional power, you can add banana, blueberries, strawberries or any other fruit of your choice.

Here are some oats recipes that you can try to enjoy the heart-healthy benefits.

  • Cinnamon Oatmeal Bars
  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
  • Fluffy Banana Bread Stove Top Oats
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Oatmeal
  • Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal
  • Triple Chocolate Steel Cut Oatmeal
  • Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal
  • Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal
  • Blueberry Peach Oatmeal by Eating Bird Food
  • Baked Chocolate Chip Cookie Oatmeal
  • Cherry Almond Cookie Dough Oatmeal
  • Date Sweetened Apple Pie Oatmeal
  • Homemade Oatmeal with Cashews and Honey
  • Crock Pot Maple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal
  • Pumpkin Pie Slow Cooker Oatmeal
  • Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats
  •  Slower Cooker Chocolate Cherry Steel Cut Oatmeal
  •  Slow Cooker Peaches and Cream Steel Cut Oats

Some other foods that lower bad cholesterol levels include:

  • Dark chocolate and cocoa
  • Garlic
  • Soy foods
  • Vegetables
  • Green tea
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Olive oil
  • Fruits

A diet that is filled with cholesterol-lowering foods is good for your heart health, lower LDL, and keep your blood pressure in check. Thankfully, there are several foods that can keep your heart healthy. Incorporate these cholesterol-lowering foods to your diet and live healthier.

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