If you struggle with high cholesterol, you know that changing your diet is an important first step in taking care of yourself. Even if your cholesterol levels are elevated due to genetics, using food as medicine is an essential part of a balanced treatment plan.
Many articles about cholesterol and diet focus on what you should not eat. Today the Natural Healthy Concepts team is going to give you the rundown of all the delicious foods you can enjoy while working to manage healthy cholesterol levels.
7 Foods to Manage Healthy Cholesterol Levels
While some foods may increase your cholesterol levels, here are 7 foods that you can eat without guilt.
Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal and you may be on the right track to managing your cholesterol. Oats contain soluble fiber which traps fats as it moves through your body, therefore lowering cholesterol. Add some berries for a few more grams of fiber and a burst of flavor.
Once found mainly in Mediterranean diets, olive oil is now a staple in most kitchens. Cooking with olive oil and using it in dressings can help manage cholesterol by increasing LDL (commonly known as “good”) cholesterol.
Rich in soluble fiber, beans such as chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans are not only full of fiber but also contain protein and vitamins to keep you feeling full and help manage cholesterol.
Nuts and legumes are another great source of soluble fiber and protein that you can toss in your grocery cart. Not only are they good for you, but they’re an easy to grab, healthy snack to have on hand. Be sure to portion out your nuts before snacking and familiarize yourself with correct portion sizes.
Fruits such as apples, grapes, and citrus are full of pectin, a fiber-rich soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol. Not only are they nutritious, they’re an affordable and accessible healthy snack.
Avocados are full of nutrients and loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids. Replacing the saturated fats in meats with healthful fatty acids is beneficial for your heart. Don’t limit avocados to guacamole! Add them to whole grain bread for avocado toast or slice them on your fish and in your salads!
Fish like mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, and trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce triglycerides, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of clots. Some other sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flaxseed, and fish oil supplements (Like Ultra Pure Fish Oil 800 from Vital Nutrients).
Supplements to Support Healthy Cholesterol Levels
If you’re looking to supplement your diet to support healthy cholesterol levels, the Natural Healthy Concepts team has products we recommend.
Cholesterol Pro from NOW Foods
Looking for a supplement to help manage healthy cholesterol and maintain heart health? Cholesterol Pro from NOW Foods contains bergamot and a vegetarian sterol blend to provide support for the cardiovascular system.
Healthy Cholesterol with Amla from Terry Naturally
Using a unique, concentrated extract of Indian gooseberry, Healthy Cholesterol with Amla from Terry Naturally is designed to support healthy cholesterol levels and help you increase your LDL or “good” cholesterol.
What are your favorite foods to support healthy cholesterol levels? Share them with the Natural Healthy Concepts team in the comments section below!