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Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Including specific foods in your diet can help naturally lower cholesterol levels. These foods often contain dietary fibre, healthy fats, or compounds that can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol or raise HDL (good) cholesterol. Here are some foods that can help lower cholesterol naturally:

Oats and Whole Grains: Oats are rich in soluble fibre, which can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Whole grains like barley, quinoa, and brown rice also contain fibre that aids in cholesterol management.

Beans and Legumes: Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes are excellent sources of soluble fibre and plant-based protein, which can help lower LDL cholesterol.

Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are high in healthy fats, fibre, and plant sterols that may lower LDL cholesterol when included in a balanced diet.

Fatty Fish: Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce triglycerides and lower the risk of heart disease. BUT Flaxseed is an alternative to marine products. It is one of the richest sources of plant-based ω-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). According to a 1-month study in people with peripheral artery disease, eating 4 tablespoons (30 grams) of milled flaxseed per day decreased levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol by 15% ( 17 )

Avocado: Avocado is a source of monounsaturated fats, which can help increase HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol.

Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil contains monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that can have a positive impact on cholesterol levels.

Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, and other berries are high in antioxidants and fibre, which can contribute to heart health.

Garlic: Garlic contains allicin, a compound that may lower cholesterol levels and offer other cardiovascular benefits.

Soy Products: Soybeans, tofu, tempeh, and soy milk contain plant sterols and isoflavones that may help lower LDL cholesterol.

Fruits and Vegetables: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides antioxidants, fibre, and other compounds that support heart health.

Green Tea: Green tea contains antioxidants known as catechins, which may help lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Fiber Supplements: If you struggle to get enough fibre from food, consider fibre supplements like psyllium husk, which can help lower cholesterol.

Foods Fortified with Plant Sterols: Some products, like certain margarine and orange juice, are fortified with plant sterols or stanols, which can help reduce LDL cholesterol.

Plant-based lowering of cholesterol is effective.

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants" (Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma)

By Dr Purity Carr

GP and Menopause Doctor

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