Has your doctor told that you have high cholesterol? Then you know you need to change your lifestyle and diet to include cholesterol lowering foods to lower your cholesterol and your risk of heart diseases. Our body needs a small amount of cholesterol to function properly. LDL cholesterol can cause plaque to build up in arteries, leading to heart diseases. HDL Or “good" cholesterol, on the other hand, helps clear bad cholesterol from blood. You want to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Eating low cholesterol foods and doing regular cardiovascular activity does exactly the same, i.e. lower LDL levels and increase HDL levels.

Here are some cholesterol lowering foods that can lower the cholesterol levels and help in protecting heart:

Oatmeal: Oatmeal contains soluble fiber & cholesterol lowering components which reduces the low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad," cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes. Soluble fiber can reduces the absorption of cholesterol into bloodstream. Use oats, oat bran or oat flour when you cook and bake.

Beans: Beans are also one of the effective cholesterol lowering foods. Same as oats, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans and kidney beans are high in soluble fiber, prevents cholesterol from being absorbed into the body. Soluble fiber forms a gel in water that helps bind acids and cholesterol in the intestinal tract, preventing their re-absorption into the body. This is why soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol levels (and decreases the risk of heart disease). Include such low cholesterol foods in your diet and reduce your risk of coronary heart diseases.

Fish: Eating fatty fish can be heart healthy because of it's high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. In people who have already had heart attacks, fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of sudden death. You should eat Fish as cholesterol lowering foods by baking or grilling the fish & avoid adding unhealthy fats. If you don't like fish, you can also get small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from foods like ground flax-seed or canola oil. Ground flax-seed or canola oil are also low cholesterol foods.

Nuts: Walnuts, almonds and other nuts can reduce blood cholesterol. These cholesterol lowering foods are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy. Eating about a handful a day of most nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachio and walnuts, may reduce the risk of heart diseases. People who eat nuts regularly have less heart disease and other illnesses than people who don't eat them. The heart-healthy monounsaturated fats they contain are also better for body joints than the polyunsaturated fats found in corn and safflower oils.

Olive Oil: One among the best cholesterol lowering foods, Olive oil is a nutritional superstar. Olive oil which is high in monounsaturated fat seems to help lower bad LDL cholesterol levels without affecting good HDL cholesterol. Diets rich in olive oil, fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains are associated with lower risks of heart disease and stroke. Olive oil is also rich in healthy vitamin E, an antioxidant. Other healthy oils include canola and flax-seed.

Apples: Apple pectin is a soluble fiber that helps draw cholesterol out of the system. The flavonoids (Quercetin) in apple act as a powerful anti-oxidant that seems to short-circuit the process that leads “bad” LDL cholesterol to accumulate in the bloodstream. This cholesterol lowering food will help you to keep your heart safe.

Spinach: Green vegetables are also a great source of vitamin and minerals and spinach is one of the best green vegetables. This low cholesterol food contains around 13 flavonoids compounds which keep us away from cancer, heart diseases and osteoporosis. 1/2 cup of this lutein-rich food daily guards us against heart attacks.
To reduce bad cholesterol & lower your risks of heart disease choose from a wide variety of cholesterol lowering foods, and follow a healthy route towards a healthy heart.