What Foods Will Lower Bad Cholesterol?

You may know that lowering your cholesterol is key to combating your risk of heart disease, but do you have the details for how to do so?

Some may think the process would be complex and involve dramatic lifestyle adjustments, perhaps even medical treatment.

This isn’t always true, though. Recent studies have uncovered a new, easy way to lower bad cholesterol. We spill the beans below.

How to Lower Your Cholesterol

The Basics on Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that naturally occurs in the body. It’s found in our brains, nerves, muscles, skin, heart, and more. We use cholesterol to produce hormones, vitamin D, and digestive acids, but we only need a certain amount in the bloodstream to get these tasks done.

When we eat foods with high cholesterol content, we may have an excess of LDL cholesterol — aka bad cholesterol — in the bloodstream. This can lead to clogged arteries and an increased heart disease risk.

Beans, Lentils, and Peas, Oh My!Overland Park | What Foods Lower Bad Cholesterol?

Research out of Canada suggests that eating just one daily serving — or 3/4 cup — of legumes can lower bad cholesterol (and thus heart disease risk) by 5%. The effects are apparently more marked in men over women, in part due to the fact that men’s dietary habits are generally poorer than women’s — so an improved diet has greater impact. In addition to their heart healthy attributes, legumes are also packed with fiber and protein, which will stave off hunger.

Here are some of our favorite legume-related snacks and sides to help you lower bad cholesterol:

  • Hummus
  • Lentil soup
  • Tomato and white bean salad
  • Cheese and black bean quesadillas
  • 4 bean chili

Other Foods To Lower Bad Cholesterol

There are plenty of other foods that have also been shown to lower bad cholesterol, including the following:

  • Oatmeal: the soluble fiber in oatmeal will lower bad cholesterol by preventing the bloodstream from absorbing LDL from your diet in the first place. Aim for 5-10 grams of soluble fiber a day, like 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal and a serving of fruit.
  • Fish: fish can lower bad cholesterol due to its high omega-3 fatty acid content. Herring, salmon, halibut, albacore tuna, mackerel, and lake trout are all great sources of these healthy fatty acids.
  • Nuts: shown to lower bad cholesterol and keep blood vessels healthy (thanks to their polyunsaturated fatty acids), nuts are a great healthy snack! Grab a handful of plain pistachios, almonds, peanuts, pecans, or walnuts and boost your heart health.

Check Your Cholesterol Levels Today

How do you know if you need to make dietary adjustments to lower bad cholesterol? A cholesterol panel by Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park will help you monitor your cholesterol levels and determine what changes are needed. You can get a baseline measurement of your HDL and LDL levels and monitor changes over time, plus gauge your overall heart health.

To get started, contact Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park today at (913) 815-0988.

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