7 Foods That Naturally Lower Cholesterol

You can actually eat food that will lower your cholesterol levels instead of raising them. You have two types of cholesterol in your body: high (high density lipoprotein, HDL) and low (low density lipoprotein, LDL). It might seem backward, but the HDL is the good kind. These HDL molecules live in the bloodstream and eat away the LDL molecules, reducing your risk for heart problems. By eating certain foods, you can decrease the amount of LDL in your body.

heart cholesterol

Oats: Rolled oats and oat bran are rich in fiber, which lowers LDL. If you add fruit to it, you’re also adding more fiber. (via MayoClinic)

Scrambled eggs: Whip up some scrambled eggs with your favorite additions, like spinach, black beans, tomatoes and more. Just don’t throw cheese into the mix. A plate of scrambled eggs will increase HDL levels.

>> Get cookin': 10 Ways to Reinvent Your Breakfast Eggs

Almonds and walnuts: These nuts can lower the “bad” cholesterol because they’re packed with “good” fat, omega-3s, fiber and other heart-healthy helpers.

Orange juice: A nutritional study shows if you consume 750 milliliters of orange juice a day, you can increase your HDL levels by 21 percent. This amount is equivalent to about three full glasses. That seems like quite a bit! So partner the juice with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies! Make sure you pick up a jug that’s free of added sugars.

orange juice

Dark chocolate: Oh yeah. But don’t just grab any commercial brand chocolate. You need to make sure it hasn’t undergone a lot of processing. Raw cacao contains several antioxidants and minerals. This is a great option for that “something sweet” after a meal. Limit your intake, though, because chocolate is listed as one of the foods that can cause gut irritation.

Fish (salmon, albacore tuna, halibut): These fish options are super high in omega-3s, which contribute to the “good” fats in the body. These good fats fend off the plaque-forming fats in your arteries. They also help reduce inflammation not only in the cardiovascular system, but throughout the body. Click here for 14 delicious remix recipes for salmon.

Whole grains: Unprocessed and unrefined, these grains offer a load of fiber and the ability to lower LDL, insulin levels and those stubborn plaque-building fats. They keep the digestive system moving, preventing gut inflammation and constipation. Get the whole story on whole grains here.