High cholesterol threatens heart health. As your cholesterol rises, fatty deposits form in your bloodstream, obstructing blood flow. Atherosclerosis causes blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. Yes! Nutritionists recommend these four foods to control cholesterol levels. Learn which diet staples lower cholesterol and promote a healthy heart.
Oatmeal's soluble and insoluble fibres reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 1.5 cups of cooked oatmeal can lower cholesterol by 5 to 8%.
The Mayo Clinic recommends topping oatmeal with fruit for added fibre. Exception? "Don't load your oats with sugar and butter," Lindsay Delk, RDN, tells Best Life.
Almonds, walnuts, and other nuts lower LDL cholesterol. A 2021 study found that eating half a cup of walnuts every day for two years lowered cholesterol and improved LDL particle quality.
There's no need to limit yourself to walnuts because other nuts offer similar benefits. "Studies show that different nuts have the same effect," says Delk. "Snack on a handful or sprinkle on oatmeal, yoghurt, or salads."
Avocados are high in fat, which may seem to lower cholesterol. These fats are monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which lower heart disease risk. "Adding an avocado a day to a heart-healthy diet can help improve LDL cholesterol," says the Mayo Clinic.
The health authority advises serving this heart-healthy food carefully. "Guacamole is the most common way to eat avocados," they say. "Add avocado slices to salads, sandwiches, and side dishes. Try guacamole with cucumber slices.
Olive oil can lower cholesterol, especially if you replace less healthy, high-saturated-fat oils with it. "Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats–about 75% by volume, which reduces LDL cholesterol," says Julie Mancuso, founder of JM Nutrition.
She says olive oil is responsible for the Mediterranean diet's health benefits. "The diet's heart-healthy nature contributed to its high rating. Mancuso says this is due to regular consumption of healthy oils such as extra virgin olive oil.