If your cholesterol is high, one way you can help deal with it is by adjusting what you eat. Not only can foods increase your cholesterol, but some of them can lower it as well – sometimes by up to 10% over time*. Keeping your saturated fat content low and increasing your intake of good fats can help, and there are other foods which may have additional benefits. The trick is to work out easy ways to integrate natural cholesterol lowering foods into your diet. We’ve got some great cholesterol busters – including all natural ‘super foods’! Just remember, no single food is going to change your heart health, it’s about integrating them into a healthy diet and lifestyle to really achieve long-term, sustainable change.
Cholesterol busting foods: Soy
If you’re trying to eat a cholesterol busting diet, why not try some soya? People often associate soy products with strict vegetarian diets, but in fact they have some useful health benefits that could make them appealing to meat-eaters too. Soy is low in saturated fats so is a great replacement for fatty meat products, and it may have additional cholesterol lowering benefits too. So why not swap a red meat steak for a sesame-encrusted tofu “steak” with a tasty sauce and sautéed vegetables?
Cholesterol busting foods: Nuts
Another great ‘super food’ that you could try eating as part of a healthy diet is nuts. Like soy, it’s thought that eating nuts each day can help lower LDL cholesterol when combined with a healthy, active lifestyle. Raw nuts make a protein-packed snack, or why not try a cholesterol busting smoothie by adding ground almonds to your morning shake? Just be careful to check calorie content and portion size as nuts are energy dense!
Cholesterol busting foods: Fruit and vegetables
Perhaps unsurprisingly, fruits and vegetables are also part of this super food group. They help to reduce cholesterol when integrated into your diet by replacing saturated fats. Some such as pulses (beans, peas, lentils), aubergines, apples, and strawberries also contain soluble fibre which can help reduce the absorption of cholesterol. Why not try a cholesterol busting chicken curry: fill it out with pulses and veg, and keep the saturated fat content low.
Cholesterol busting foods: Foods with sterols + stanols
Sterols and stanols are plant extracts that, when consumed in food, help to reduce the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol. You mainly get these in special products such as Flora’s ProActiv range*. Why not try a ProActiv spread on toast in the morning rather than butter? Or opt for Flora ProActiv milk on your cereal.
Cholesterol busting foods: Oats and Barley
Oats and barley are also a great addition to your cholesterol busting diet, when combined with other healthy foods. That’s because they include a type of soluble fibre called beta glucans which also help prevent cholesterol being absorbed. For tasty cholesterol busting meals, try using pearl barley instead of rice and finish up with healthy oat cakes.
There are lots of super foods when it comes to eating a cholesterol busting diet. Just remember, no one food is going to change everything. Instead it’s about integrating all these different items into a healthy diet and keeping active and a healthy weight too. Be sure to look at the online resources if you need extra help and try downloading our Cholesterol Lowering Starter Kit!
*Flora ProActiv contains plant sterols, which have been shown to lower blood cholesterol. Consuming 1.5-2.4g of plant sterols per day can lower cholesterol by 7-10% in 2-3 weeks when consumed as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Individual results may vary. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. There are many risk factors for coronary heart disease and it is important to take care of all of them to reduce the overall risk of it.