Eating is fun, but eating too much can cause problems like obesity and high amounts of bad cholesterol (LDL).
Lower Cholesterol Foods
According to the latest national nutrition and health survey by the FDA, most American adults have 12% higher cholesterol (357mg) than the recommended level (300mg).
For those that don't know, about 67% of all heart-related diseases are caused by or related to high cholesterol levels.
With that in mind, here are the top ten cholesterol-lowering foods, in no particular order.
10 Lower Cholesterol Foods
1. Apples Up first is the almighty apple. The old saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," has been backed up on several accounts and cholesterol is no different.
Apples are rich in pectin which helps draw cholesterol out of the system. Apples also have flavonoids that act as powerful antioxidants, seemingly short-circuiting the process that leads LDL, or bad cholesterol, to accumulate in the bloodstream.
A study done in Finland found that eating three apples a day for three months can help drop cholesterol levels by twenty points.
2. Beans Beans and vegetables are an excellent source of soluble fiber and high in vegetable protein. One 8-week study showed that simply adding one bowl of beans per day resulted in an average cholesterol-lowering of 20 percent.
3. Brown Rice The oil in whole brown rice lowers cholesterol. Brown rice can be combined with beans to form an inexpensive complete protein that is low in saturated fat.
4. Cinnamon A study that was published in the Diabetes Care journal found that half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces sugar levels and cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.
5. Garlic Over the years, garlic has also been used to lower cholesterol levels. It also lowers the clotting properties of blood.
6. Grapes Flavonoids found in grapes protect HDL cholesterol (the good kind) from free radical damage and reduce platelet clumping. The darker the grape, the better.
7. Oats Ten grams or more of soluble fiber a day decreases your total and LDL cholesterol, and oats are an excellent source of soluble fiber.
8. Salmon Components found in salmon include omega-3 fatty acids and protein which have a highly-favorable overall cardiovascular effect.
9. Soy The FDA has already approved and acknowledged that the soybean has the ability to lower bad cholesterol and help prevent heart-related diseases.
10. Walnuts Because they are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts can significantly reduce blood cholesterol. Walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy and elastic.
Honorable mentions for other cholesterol-lowering foods include avocados, green tea, spinach, olive oil, and blueberries.