When trying to lower cholesterol, you may want to focus on foods high in fiber. Fiber is a natural cholesterol-lowering agent that attaches itself to cholesterol molecules and flushes them out of the body. Whole-grain cereals and oats are excellent sources of soluble fiber. You should aim for five to 10 grams of fiber each day.
Beans are another good option. They contain lots of soluble fiber and help lower total and LDL cholesterol. Additionally, they are a good source of protein and can replace meat and other animal sources. They are also a great addition to soups and salads. While some people may not think of beans as foods that lower cholesterol, they are a great option to include in your diet.
Soy products are also excellent choices for a cholesterol-lowering diet. A recent review of 46 studies found that soy protein reduced LDL cholesterol by 4.76 milligrams per deciliter in adults when consumed over six weeks. Flavonoids found in cocoa are also believed to reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 4%.
Another great food to include in your diet is olive oil. The high levels of monounsaturated fats in olive oil help lower LDL cholesterol. You can also use it to make homemade salad dressings and as a flavor enhancer in your favorite dishes. Avocados are also rich in monounsaturated fats, which can raise HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol. In addition, avocados contain soluble fiber, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Furthermore, they contain anti-inflammatory phytochemicals such as lutein and beta-sitosterol.