Cholesterol is a molecule composed of fatty acids that, when found in excessive levels in the blood, can cause heart disease, hence the widespread concern about lowering cholesterol levels.

Exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and adding foods to the diet to lower bad cholesterol , are the recommendations that doctors make to counteract this evil.

10 foods that help lower bad cholesterol

For cholesterol to be transported in the blood, it needs lipoproteins; when these are low density and their levels are excessive they accumulate in the circulatory system blocking it, the so-called “bad cholesterol” appears. On the other hand, if the lipoproteins are high density, they transport the cholesterol that accumulates in the circulatory system and help its elimination, it is the “good cholesterol”

What foods help lower bad cholesterol levels? Let’s look at a few.

1. Oats

It is the quintessential food in the mission to lower bad cholesterol levels. It contains a fiber that unlike other cereals is soluble type. It is recommended to consume three grams of oats per day , and when the cholesterol levels are not very high, in a few weeks they will drop considerably.

2. Apple

Eating an apple a day takes care of the arteries, because decreases the absorption of the fat provided by other foods . This fruit prevents cholesterol from sticking to the wall of the blood vessels to a certain extent because it contains flavonoids. It will also help you to fight hypertension and not to retain fluids. In short, eating apples regularly is excellent for lowering blood cholesterol levels.

3. Flax and Chia Seeds

These seeds are a good source of omega 3 and studies show that their consumption reduces cholesterol by 6 to 13%. Chia seeds are also very rich in fibre and antioxidants.

They can be included in salads as the recommendation is that they be eaten without soaking.

4. Egg white

Contrary to the belief that eggs raise blood cholesterol levels, the fatty acids contained in egg whites help increase good cholesterol . Eating two boiled egg whites for breakfast is one of the best food choices to lower bad cholesterol.

5. Vegetable oils

Sunflower oil, olive oil or canola oil should replace animal oils. These vegetable oils c contain polyunsaturated fatty acids . Accompanying salads or vegetables and fruits that contribute to lowering cholesterol levels with these oils is an excellent option.

6. Eggplant

Aubergine is a fruit that contains chlorogenic acid that helps keep good cholesterol from oxidizing. It also works by absorbing cholesterol in the blood. It should be eaten cooked and whole without removing the skin or seeds.

Aubergine is a powerful food for lowering cholesterol levels; it is enough to cut it into large pieces, cook it and consume it to notice results in a short time .

7. Nuts

Walnuts contain a type of omega-3 that not only increases good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol, but also promotes the elasticity of blood vessels, prevents the formation of clots and decreases high blood pressure. It is enough to consume 3 or 4 a day for this seed to lower cholesterol levels. But you should not eat too much, as they contain a lot of fat .

8. Vegetables

These are effective foods for lowering bad cholesterol because they are a source of soluble fiber that works like a broom to sweep it away and then eliminate it along with the stool.

But this is not the only function of legumes. When the fibre is working the liver needs more cholesterol to produce more bile salts , thus reducing its concentration.

Lentils, beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans should be eaten regularly to lower bad cholesterol in the body.

9. Blueberries

These berries increase good cholesterol and reduce blood pressure, artery stiffness, and overall inflammation. In general they are considered an excellent food for taking care of the heart and their consumption is excellent for lowering the good cholesterol.

Blueberries can be eaten dry or fresh and in either form is a cholesterol-lowering food.

10. Oily fish

In the face of a high level of cholesterol in the blood, the consumption of red meat must be eliminated . A good substitute for these is fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, sardines or trout. They can be cooked on the grill.

These foods are rich in omega 3, so they lower blood pressure, prevent blood clotting and therefore lower total cholesterol.

11. Almonds and chocolate

The surprise on the list of foods that lower bad cholesterol is chocolate. The truth is that the exact combination of almonds and chocolates has been shown to be heart-healthy .

Research backed by the University of Pennsylvania has proven that 20 g of almonds along with ¼ cup of bitter chocolate reduce low-density lipoprotein, thus lowering bad cholesterol.

Bibliographic references:

  • Lehninger, A. L. (2009). Principles of biochemistry. Omega, Barcelona.