Foods that lower cholesterol

Learn about foods to lower cholesterol – such as almonds, flaxseeds and oatmeal – and how they keep your heart healthy by choosing these easy mealtime options.

Healthy eating tips

When the doctor measures your cholesterol levels, two types are being considered: First, LDL, otherwise known as the "bad cholesterol"; and second, HDL, considered the "good cholesterol." LDL delivers cholesterol to the body. Too much of it is a bad thing as it can build up in the arterial walls and restrict blood flow. HDL removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Too little HDL is also risk factor for future heart disease.

High cholesterol levels are attributed to several factors, such as genetics, dietary choices, body weight and smoking. Fortunately, you can choose to eat certain foods that will help lower cholesterol naturally, reducing the risk of a future heart attack or stroke.

Dietary tips to keep your cholesterol levels within a normal range
Switch from refined white grains to whole-grain items loaded with fibre. Look for the words "whole grains" or "100 per cent whole wheat" on your food labels. Breads, pastas and even cookies are now available made with whole grains; as well as whole wheat, look for other whole grains such as kamut, spelt and rye.

Enjoy garlic in as many recipes as you can for its cholesterol-lowering effects.

Eat seven to 10 walnuts or almonds per day. Almonds and walnuts are loaded with beneficial fats called omega-3s, which protect against heart disease and high cholesterol.

Eat oily cold-water fish such as salmon or tuna for its heart-healthy fats.

Sprinkle ground flaxseeds on your cereal or salads or include in recipes for a delicious nutty flavour and a number of health benefits. Studies have shown consumption of flaxseeds to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

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