It's a common belief that high cholesterol discriminates based on age alone, but the reality is if can affect both young and old as well as people with an active or sedentary lifestyle. Left untreated and high cholesterol can lead to heart disease, stroke and death. Research from Baylor University Medical Center has shown that eating the right types of foods can be an effective way to preventing and even treating high levels of cholesterol. High cholesterol levels plague more people than almost any other medical condition. Thank to fast food and an array of easily available unhealthy fats, our cholesterol levels as a race are higher than ever before seen. In order to sustain a healthy body, the National Institute of Nutrition in the USA recommends 50 grams of green leafy vegetables, 50 of grams root vegetables and 200 grams of other vegetables. Here are 23 nutritious, healthy foods which lower cholesterol. Each supports the health of your body in numerous ways, therefore all should form a part of a balanced, healthy diet.

1. Beans & Lentils

foods which lower cholesterol

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Beans, lentils, peas and all other legumes area great source of soluble fiber and lecithin and are therefore great for high cholesterol sufferers. Both are compounds which help to lower cholesterol levels while also promoting a healthy metabolism. High in protein and low in fat, legumes are thus excellent for weight loss and the health of your heart. Up Next is ‘Fatty Fish’

2. Fatty Fish

foods which lower cholesterol

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Lower cholesterol by eating fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and halibut often. They are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which not only lower your cholesterol levels, but also protect the health of your heart. Steer clear of farmed fish however, as it can be dangerous to your health and even mildly carcinogenic. Up Next is ‘Monounsaturated Fats Lower Cholesterol’

3. Monounsaturated Fats Lower Cholesterol

foods which lower cholesterol

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Monounsaturated fat are highly effective at lowering cholesterol and you should therefore supplement your diet with peanuts, peanut butter, avocados, hazelnuts, pecans or almonds to drop your levels. Olive and peanut oils are also high in monounsaturated fats are therefore far healthier than hydrogenated oils. Up Next is ‘Grains and Oats’

4. Grains and Oats

foods which lower cholesterol

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Soluble fiber is one of the best dietary mean of lowering cholesterol. Therefore oats, barley, brown rice and wholewheat pasta are all great to lower cholesterol. The soluble fiber in these foods binds to bile acids and thus eliminates cholesterol. Apples, carrots and beans are also great sources of soluble fiber. Up Next is ‘Nuts’

5. Nuts

foods which lower cholesterol

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Nuts are a source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as plant sterols, all of which lower LDL cholesterol therefore making nuts essential to healthy eating. All forms of nuts contain compounds which are essential to a healthy heart. This includes high levels of vitamin E and selenium which thus mean that these foods strengthen your immune system as well. Up Next is ‘Fruit Fibers Lower Cholesterol’

6. Fruit Fibers Lower Cholesterol

foods which lower cholesterol

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Many fruits such as apples, pears, grapefruit and oranges are rich in soluble fiber which will drop your cholesterol levels. Other great sources of soluble fiber include pears, barley and kidney beans.Oranges and grapefruit are two of the best sources of soluble fiber and are thus essential to a cholesterol lowering diet. Up Next is ‘Antioxidants Protect You Against Cholesterol Damage’

7. Antioxidants Protect You Against Cholesterol Damage

foods which lower cholesterol

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Cholesterol often leads to damage-causing sticky plaque which therefore impacts the growth and health of your body. In order to prevent and help heal this damage, it is important to include anti-oxidant rich food in your diet. Blueberries, cranberries and grapes are great foods to protect you from cholesterol damage. Regular consumption of these foods will lower your risk of heart disease while also preventing conditions such as Atherosclerosis due top the strong antioxidants present. Up Next is ‘Plant Sterols Lower Cholesterol’

8. Plant Sterols Lower Cholesterol

foods which lower cholesterol

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Orange juice, yogurt drinks and other health drinks which are fortified with plant sterols and stanols which are excellent at lowering cholesterol. They block the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream and are thus essential to a healthy diet. Up Next is ‘Walnuts’

9. Walnuts

foods which lower cholesterol

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Walnuts lower cholesterol while as a source of Omega-3 and antioxidants they also reverse the arterial damage caused by high cholesterol levels. Up Next is ‘Blueberries’

10. Blueberries

foods which lower cholesterol

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Blueberries are one of the highest sources of the antioxidant Pterostilben and should therefore always be included in a healthy diet. This compound can lower cholesterol, while blueberries are also a rich source of soluble fiber. They are also one of the most beneficial antioxidants to be found for your brain and therefore improve your memory and alertness. Up Next is ‘Salmon‘

11. Salmon

foods which lower cholesterol

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Salmon, when not farmed, is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids and is thus excellent for the health of your heart and brain. Omega-3’s lower LDL cholesterol while increasing healthy LDL cholesterol levels. Up Next is ‘Garlic’

12. Garlic

foods which lower cholesterol

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Garlic is another compound which lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises HL (good) cholesterol. Its active compound called Allicn is responsible for the lowering of cholesterol, while it also boosts your immune system and flushes toxins from the body. Up Next is ‘Avocado’

13. Avocado

foods which lower cholesterol

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Eat avocado regularly and you will lower cholesterol in your body. Avocados contain oleic acid which is a monounsaturated fat and therefore are excellent for cholesterol suffers. As before-mentioned, monounsaturated fats are great at lowering cholesterol. Up Next is ‘Black Beans’

14. Black Beans

foods which lower cholesterol

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Black beans are a legume which is very high in dietary fiber and are therefore essential to a comprehensive, healthy diet. This binds to cholesterol which allows it to be excreted by the body. Regular consumption of black beans is great for weight loss and to lower cholesterol due to this binding effect. Up Next is ‘Apples Lower Cholesterol’

15. Apples Lower Cholesterol

foods which lower cholesterol

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As a source of pectin, a valuable soluble fiber, and the antioxidants quercetin, catechin, chlorogenic acid and phloridzin, Apples clear out LDL cholesterol while promoting healthy HDL cholesterol levels and are thus an important part of any healthy diet. Up Next is ‘Green Leafy Vegetables’

16. Green Leafy Vegetables

foods which lower cholesterol

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Studies show that eating four or more portions of green leafy vegetables per day will effectively lower cholesterol and should thus make a part of all healthy diets. Supplementing with green leafy vegetables is thus essential to maintaining good overall health. Spinach, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard and Kale are nutritious examples of green leafy vegetables which lower LDL cholesterol and are therefore great greens to include in your diet. Up Next is ‘Raw Carrots’

17. Raw Carrots

foods which lower cholesterol

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The pectin within raw carrots, apples, citrus fruits, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries help to lower cholesterol and are therefore some of the healthiest snacks around. This nutrient dense food contains vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, vitamin B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese, and is therefore critical to a fully functional and healthy body. Up Next is ‘Sesame Seeds’

18. Sesame Seeds

foods which lower cholesterol

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Sesame seeds contain phytosterols which are great at reducing LDL cholesterol levels and should therefore be a part of any diet which is focused on reducing cholesterol. Other great sources of phytosterols include tomatoes, celery, lettuce, asparagus, tomatoes, ginger, strawberries, spinach and squash. Up Next is ‘Pistachios’

19. Pistachios

foods which lower cholesterol

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Pistachios are one of the best nuts for lowering LDL cholesterol due to their unique blend of nutrients. They also combat diabetes and hypertension, while also improving your digestion and cardiovascular health due to the high levels of potassium and vitamin K. Up Next is ‘Cranberries’

20. Cranberries

foods which lower cholesterol

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Cranberries contain antioxidants which slow down the buildup of LDL cholesterol while helping to promote heath HDL cholesterol levels. They also are a strong anti-inflammatory and great source of vitamin E and vitamin K, thus making cranberries valuable towards combating heart disease. Up Next is ‘Pomegranate Juice’

21. Pomegranate Juice

foods which lower cholesterol

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Pomegranate juice contains antioxidants and therefore reduce cholesterol and arterial plaque. Any high cholesterol sufferer should therefore supplement with pomegranate juice daily.This healthy fruit even lowers your risk of cancer, which therefore shows its usefulness in disease prevention. It tastes great and supports total-body health, thus holding all the qualities needed to keep you coming back. Up Next is ‘Shitake Mushrooms’

22. Shitake Mushrooms

foods which lower cholesterol

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Shitake mushrooms are high in compounds called eritadenine and lentinan which reduce your risk of cancer, boost your immune system and lower cholesterol. They are therefore an excellent supplement for any diet. These mushrooms are actually easy to grow yourself which thus leaves no excuse not to include them in your meals on a regular basis. Up Next is ‘Prunes’

23. Prunes

foods which lower cholesterol

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Prunes are high in antioxidants and soluble fiber which lowers LDL cholesterol while supporting a healthy immune system. They should therefore make a part of any diet aimed at lowering cholesterol. They also reduce oxidative stress and promote healthy bones, thus making them great for growing kids and the aged alike.

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