Top 8 Cholesterol Lowering Foods

When the samosas and pakodas you eat on rainy days start showing up in your blood tests, you know it’s time to take stock. High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, which kills three times as many people as breast cancer and twice as many as lung cancer.

While popping pills is simple, becoming dependent on them for the rest of your life is not. Including these superfoods in your diet, along with quitting smoking and exercising, can help you maintain a healthy levels.

1. Garlic

Start your day with two to four fresh garlic cloves. According to research, the ancient herb lowers cholesterol and prevents artery-clogging plaque from forming in the first place  it prevents individual cholesterol particles from adhering to artery walls.

2. Oranges

The juicy fruit contains pectin, a soluble fiber that forms a gooey mass in your stomach. This mass traps cholesterol and transports it out of the body before it can be absorbed.

3. Beans from the kidney

Your mother’s home-cooked rajma-chawal is not only delicious, but also nutritious. Kidney beans are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. They’re also a good low-fat substitute for non-vegetarian fare that’s high in saturated fat.

4. Dark Chocolate

Choose a dark chocolate the next time you want to indulge. The bittersweet variety contains flavonoid antioxidants, which help keep arteries clear by preventing blood platelets from sticking together.

5. Spinach

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A half cup of spinach per day can help prevent heart attacks. The leafy green is high in lutein, a yellow pigment that helps artery walls shed deposits that cause clogging.

6. Pistachios

All nuts are good for the heart, but pistachios in particular are an excellent way to control your cholesterol levels. This is because green nuts are high in phytosterols, which are natural plant compounds that prevent the absorption of dietary cholesterol.

7. Oatmeal and Barley

A daily serving of oats or barley can reduce your cholesterol by 5-10%. These grains are high in beta glucan, a soluble fiber that forms a gel in the intestines and helps bind cholesterol and triglycerides, preventing them from being absorbed by the body.

8. Extra virgin olive oil

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Olive is high in antioxidants, which reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) while leaving good cholesterol (HDL) alone. Experts recommend cooking with two tablespoons of olive oil per day to reap the most benefits without consuming too many calories.

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