7 Foods That Help Reduce Cholesterol

I’m writing about this particular topic today because I know my dad has been trying to lower his cholesterol. Wondering which foods contain cholesterol?  Only foods of animal origin, such as egg yolks, meat, milk and cheese. Nutrition guidelines say you should aim to consume less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. One large egg can contain more than half of the recommended daily intake. Just think of those breakfast specials that offer you two eggs, any style, along with bacon, ham or sausage. Those meals are packed with extra cholesterol.

I recently subscribed to free nutrition newsletters from EatingWell.com and yesterday they sent me a great article about 7 heart-healthy foods that help improve cholesterol levels.

  1. Almonds: sprinkle on cereal or salads, or try incorporating them into some homemade trail mix. Aim for unsalted almonds if you’re trying to reduce your sodium intake.
  2. Avocados: these contain monounsaturated fats (or “good” fats) that help lower “bad” cholesterol and raise “good” cholesterol. Add sliced avocado to sandwiches, salads, or make some delicious homemade guacamole.
  3. Barley: may help significantly lower “bad” cholesterol. Try adding it to homemade soups!
  4. Beans & Lentils: also may help significantly lower “bad” cholestrol. Legumes are great in soups, salads, dips, lasagnas, casseroles, burritos… the list is endless!
  5. Blueberries: contain a powerful antioxidant that may help lower “bad” cholestrol. Eat plain, sprinkled on cereal or yogurt, or combine with other ingredients to make a smoothie.
  6. Oats: may help increase “good” cholesterol. Try having some oatmeal for breakfast or making homemade oat-bran muffins. Add blueberries or almonds for extra cholesterol-reducing effects!
  7. Are you ready for the best one?  ALCOHOL! In moderation, of course. Consuming one glass of alcohol (wine, beer or spirits) with dinner has been shown to raise “good” cholesterol.

Here are a few other tips I thought of that can help reduce your cholesterol intake:

  • Next time you go for breakfast, try asking for an egg white omelette instead of the classic scrambled eggs and bacon.
  • Need eggs for baking? Try substituting two egg whites for one whole egg, or use an egg substitute.
  • Meatless Mondays! Try going meat-free at least one day per week. Remember, only foods of animal origin contain dietary cholesterol.
  • READ NUTRITION LABELS! Pay attention to the saturated/trans fat content – the lower, the better!

Click here to read the full article on cholesterol-reducing foods (there are recipes too!)

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