Medical professionals have long preached the benefits of diets that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol for heart health. A diet that consists of foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol has been linked to higher cholesterol levels and increased levels of LDL cholesterol, or "bad" cholesterol. Remember, it is important to always speak with your physician before beginning a new diet.
Foods high in soluble fiber are beneficial for anyone concerned about heart health because soluble fiber can reduce the cholesterol absorbed into your bloodstream. Many health professionals recommend 10 or more grams of soluble fiber every day to decrease your LDL cholesterol. Oatmeal and oatbran are considered cholesterol-lowering superfoods due to their high soluble fiber content and powerful impact on lowering cholesterol levels in many studies. Other foods high in soluble fiber, such as apples and kidney beans, are also powerful foods to incorporate into your diet to lower cholesterol.
Eating foods featuring healthy, omega-3 fatty acids can also improve your heart health. Fish, especially those with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, are a great choice, and the American Heart Association recommends at least two servings a week. Fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, herring, sardines and lake trout. Flax seeds and canola oil also feature higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements are popular sources of omega-3 fatty acids as well.
Olive oil is a powerful cholesterol fighter that helps to lower your bad, or LDL, cholesterol. Extra virgin olive oil is especially helpful in lowering cholesterol levels in your blood because it is less processed than other forms of olive oil. Many nuts, including walnuts and almonds, are powerful foods that can reduce your cholesterol.
If you’re looking to lower your cholesterol through diet, speak with your doctor to learn more about foods that can help you in your heart health journey.