Author: Hassan S. Makki, D.O., FACC
The CDC estimates that one in three adults in the U.S. has high cholesterol. And, unfortunately, most of them don’t have their high cholesterol under control. When treating patients with hyperlipidemia (“high cholesterol”), I make a point of sharing some tips for lowering cholesterol naturally. After all, who wants to be taking a pill when they could get the job done without pharmaceuticals?
Though it doesn’t sound too appetizing on its own, soluble fiber is the active ingredient in many of my favorite cholesterol-lowering foods. Soluble fiber breaks down low-density lipoprotein (LDL), otherwise known as “bad cholesterol.”
Lower Cholesterol Naturally With…
- Walnuts and Almonds. Studies show that eating as little as two ounces of nuts a day can lower LDL cholesterol.
- Soy. While soy alone isn’t going to turn around your cholesterol problem, it can make a dent in your LDL cholesterol levels. It’s worth noting that soy is the only complete protein found in plant sources.
- Sterol/Stanol-Fortified Foods. These plant-compounds can be found in many foods, including yogurt, orange juice, and margarine. As little as two grams per day (16 oz fortified OJ) can lower LDL cholesterol levels five to 15 percent.
- Green Tea. Instead of soda, take tea as your afternoon pick-me-up, and lower cholesterol naturally.
- Lima Beans. A half-cup of cooked lima beans has 3.5 grams of soluble fiber. Other legumes are abundant in soluble fiber, too, which may help prevent heart disease.
- Dark Chocolate. While cocoa powder’s cholesterol-lowering abilities don’t exactly give free license to eat as much chocolate as you want, dark chocolate with at least 60% cocoa is a better option than high-fat, high-sugar desserts.
- Red Wine. Red wine can raise HDL “good” cholesterol levels while also lowering LDL “bad” cholesterol. Just keep it to less than two glasses per day (men) or one glass per day (women). Depending on your health, your physician may recommend you abstain from alcohol entirely.
- Oats. Saving the best for last, here… Oats are one of the richest sources for soluble fiber, making them a great breakfast choice for people who want to lower cholesterol naturally.
Have more questions about how you can lower cholesterol naturally? Schedule an appointment with a cardiologist in Phoenix by calling Phoenix Heart Center at 602-234-0004. Locations in Phoenix, East Mesa, and Tempe, AZ.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.