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High cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease and other health issues. But the good news is, there are certain foods that can help lower your cholesterol levels and improve your overall health. These foods not only taste great, but they also have proven benefits for your heart.

In this article, we’ll discuss 10 foods that can help lower your cholesterol and how to incorporate them into your diet. So let’s get started!

before you start

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As we age, maintaining regular doctor appointments and yearly checkups is more important than ever. Our bodies have different needs, and it’s crucial to keep up with their ongoing changes. Before you start any new diet or make any changes to your health, check with your doctor first.

Legumes

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Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and peas, are a great source of protein and fiber. These plant-based proteins have been linked to lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the body. They also contain no saturated fat and are low in calories, making them a great addition to any diet.

Try adding more legumes to your meals. You can use them as a substitute for meat in dishes like chili or add them to salads and soups.

Avocados

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Avocados are not only delicious but also packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. These healthy fats can help lower LDL cholesterol levels while also increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. In fact, studies have shown that incorporating avocados into your diet can decrease total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

Add some avocado slices to your morning toast or incorporate them into a dip for a healthy snack option. Avocadoes are also a great addition to your morning smoothie. Oh, and let’s not forget guacamole!

Nuts

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Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, are nutrient-dense foods that can help lower cholesterol levels. They are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and plant sterols, which have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels.

However, nuts are also high in calories, so it’s important to enjoy them in moderation and choose unsalted varieties to avoid excess sodium intake.

Fatty Fish

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Fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, and sardines, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats have been linked to lowering LDL cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart disease.

For maximum health benefits, try to incorporate fatty fish into your diet at least twice a week. If you’re not fussy about fish, you can substitute fish oil pills, but these do not have the same health benefits as real fish.

Whole Grains

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Whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, and brown rice, are high in soluble fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol absorption into the bloodstream. They also contain other heart-healthy nutrients like antioxidants and plant sterols.

Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal or swap out white bread for whole grain options to reap the benefits of these nutritious foods.

Fruits and Berries

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Fruits and berries are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients that can help lower cholesterol. They are high in soluble fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals which have been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol levels.

Incorporate a variety of fruits and berries into your diet to reap their health benefits. Toss them in a smoothie or over a bowl of yogurt, or just eat them naturally!

Dark Chocolate

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Yes, you read that right—dark chocolate can actually help lower your cholesterol levels! Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, antioxidants that have been linked to reduced LDL cholesterol levels.

Make sure to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content for maximum health benefits.

Garlic

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Garlic is a powerful superfood that has been used for its medicinal properties since ancient times. It contains compounds that have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure.

Incorporate garlic into your meals for a delicious and heart-healthy boost.

Tea

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Green tea, in particular, has gained popularity for its numerous health benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels. It contains catechins, which are antioxidants that can help improve blood vessel function and decrease LDL cholesterol levels.

Swap out your daily coffee for a cup of green tea to add some heart-healthy goodness to your routine. Word of warning, though, green tea does have caffeine in it, so enjoy it before 5 p.m. 

Dark Leafy Greens

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Dark leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and collard greens, are packed with nutrients that can help lower cholesterol levels. They contain high amounts of soluble fiber and antioxidants which have been linked to decreased LDL cholesterol levels.

Add a serving of dark leafy greens to your meals for a tasty and nutritious way to support heart health.

Conclusion

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Incorporating these foods into your diet alone won’t magically lower your cholesterol overnight. It’s important to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle by regularly exercising, managing stress, and avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking. But by adding these 10 foods to your diet, you can take a step in the right direction toward improving your cholesterol levels and overall heart health.

Make these delicious and nutritious foods a part of your daily routine today – your heart will thank you!

12 superfoods that help fight inflammation

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If you’ve been suffering from inflammation or simply want to prevent it from happening, add these 12 superfoods to your daily diet.

Author: Iva Ursano

Title: Writer

Expertise: Anti-Aging, Mental Health

Iva is a 60-something woman, originally from Northern Ontario, Canada, who now resides in sunny Guatemala. She helps women over 50 love the skin they're in and empowers them to live their best lives ever. When she's not blogging, she's out on her scooter feeding and rescuing street dogs.  

You can also check out her amazing eStore here. It is full of powerful self-help eBooks, personal development courses, and so much more—ALL at affordable prices!

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