Posts tagged: cholesterol

10 Foods that Lower Cholesterol Naturally

10 Foods that Lower Cholesterol Naturally
10 Foods that Lower Cholesterol Naturally. Graphic © Photos – Pixabay (PD)

1. Garlic: Garlic is beneficial in lowering cholesterol in the body and may have benefits for those with high blood pressure. Science has suggested that it may be a helpful ingredient with regard to heart disease prevention. [1]

2. Avocado: Avocado is a heart-healthy food as it has no cholesterol. Polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats found in avocado may help lower blood cholesterol levels.

3. Fatty Fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and trout are a must for a heart-healthy diet as they are full of omega-3 fatty acids and contain good fats instead of bad fats found in other types of meat or processed oils. [2]

4. Oats: Oats contain a high amount of soluble fiber that lowers the low-density cholesterol or bad cholesterol from the body. They also contain soluble fibers that reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.

5. Red Wine: Red wine is rich in polyphenol antioxidants that lower low-density cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol). It can also raise the level of good fats to 5 to 15%.

6. Tea: Both black and green tea have been found by studies to be effective in lowering cholesterol levels. Catechins, a type of antioxidant found in tea is responsible for lowering cholesterol. [3]

7. Spinach: Spinach has a high amount of cholesterol-lowering fiber in it, with almost 6 grams per cup. Both frozen and fresh has the same amount of fiber and nutrient.

8. Chocolate: Chocolate significantly lowers oxidized low-density cholesterol and increases high-density cholesterol in the body. It also decreases risk factors for heart diseases.

9. Walnuts: Walnuts have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. They lower blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart complications.

10. Olive Oil: Olive oil is high in monosaturated fatty acids which help lower ‘bad’ low-density cholesterol. They also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

MORE INFO – 7 Little Known Facts About Cholesterol (And Statins) You Need To Know:


[1] Kwak, J.S., et al., Garlic powder intake and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Nutrition research and practice, 2014. 8(6): p. 644-654.

[2] Rajaram, S., et al., Walnuts and fatty fish influence different serum lipid fractions in normal to mildly hyperlipidemic individuals: a randomized controlled study. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 2009. 89(5): p. 1657S-1663S.

[3] Zheng, X.-X., et al., Green tea intake lowers fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol in adults: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 2011. 94(2): p. 601-610.

7 Key Foods That Lower Cholesterol And Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Cholesterol2-WPFacts You Need To Know About Cholesterol graphic ©
Food images – Wikipedia lic. under CC (see foot of article for full license info)

Did you know that according to studies, eating food such as red meat, milk, products that are high in dairy content, and deep fried food contribute to having high cholesterol? [1] High cholesterol is known to increase the risk of having stroke, heart attacks and clogging of the arteries. [2] The medical term for high blood cholesterol is hyperlipidemia (lipid disorder). [3]

Cholesterol in the body is divided into two types, the “good cholesterol” or HDL, and the “bad cholesterol” or LDL. In simple terms, eating less foods that have bad cholesterol and consuming more of those those rich in good cholesterol is a key strategy to decreasing your risk of stroke, heart attacks and clogged arteries. [1]

Certain foods, interestingly, have been found to have direct cholesterol-lowering effects. These food items have been studied by scientists and they have all been found to help lower bad cholesterol in the body:

1) Cocoa Products: Studies have shown that having a Spanish-Mediterranean diet and eating 15mg of cacao daily reduces bad cholesterol in the body by increasing the good cholesterol. [4] Eating cacao didn’t only help the healthy individuals but also those who have moderate hypercholesterolemia, or greatly elevated cholesterol levels. Note that while chocolate contains cacao, it’s advisable to find cacao products with low sugar and/or less harmful sugars. It’s possible to obtain pure raw cacao and this can easily be added to smoothies and many other foods for the beneficial effects.

2) Okra, Eggplant, Vegetables in General: A diet rich in vegetables has been shown to increase good cholesterol and reduce the bad. [5] However specific vegetables have shown very interesting results in tests – for example okra, which was found by a 2014 study to have direct potential to be considered as a “medicinal food” for the management of high cholesterol: In the study, okra dose-dependently decreased serum and hepatic total cholesterol and triglyceride, and enhanced fecal excretion of bile acids. [6] Beneficial effects have also been noted for eggplant (aka aubergine). [7]

3) Fruit: Consuming fresh fruit of all kinds also has been associated with healthy cholesterol levels. [5]

4) Fiber rich food such as barley, oats, and whole grain: [5] According to the nutrition guidelines, 20 to 35 grams of fiber is recommended to be consumed daily. [1]

5) Soy and soy products: Soy products – from tofu to soy milk can reduce bad cholesterol. [5] Research has shown that eating 25 grams/day of soy protein lowers bad cholesterol by 5-6%. [1]

6) Nuts: All kinds of nuts, from almonds to pistachios, when eaten daily (2 oz) lower bad cholesterol by 5% [1] to 8%, [5] according to studies. [1]

7) Fatty fish: Eating fish such as salmon two or 3 times per week can lower LDL in two ways: first by replacing meat portions, which have LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats have been found to reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and protect the heart. [1]

All in all, consuming soy and soy products, fish, nuts, fiber-rich food, vegetables and fruits or food items with known cholesterol-lowering properties reduces high cholesterol significantly. [8] Changing one’s eating habits may not be easy at first. But making the switch from consuming LDL food items to HDL ones is just one of the ways to be healthier and to decrease the risk of getting cardiovascular-related diseases.



[1] 11 foods that lower cholesterol.

[2] High Cholesterol.

[3] Hyperlipidemia – American Heart Association.

[4] Realistic intake of a flavanol-rich soluble cocoa product increases HDL-cholesterol without inducing anthropometric changes in healthy and moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects.

[5] Lowering LDL-cholesterol through diet: potential role in the statin era.

[6] Hypolipidemic activity of okra is mediated through inhibition of lipogenesis and upregulation of cholesterol degradation. (2014).

[7] Direct comparison of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods with a statin in hypercholesterolemic participants. (2005).

[8] Effect of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods given at 2 levels of intensity of dietary advice on serum lipids in hyperlipidemia: a randomized controlled trial.