The following low cholesterol diet may help to reduce cholesterol levels:
- Eat some nuts every day. Nuts, especially almonds, walnuts and cashews, contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
- Substitute soy protein for animal protein. The protein in soy foods has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Try to incorporate two servings a day into your meals. Choose from tofu, tempeh, soy milk, whole soy beans and roasted soy nuts.
- Use fresh garlic regularly in your meals. Garlic has been shown to lower both cholesterol levels and blood pressure – and it tastes wonderful, too. Use one or two raw or lightly cooked cloves a day.
- Drink green tea daily. The antioxidants in green tea help lower cholesterol and prevent the cholesterol in your blood from oxidizing.
- Eat plenty of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber has a powerful cholesterol-lowering effect. The best sources of soluble fiber are beans and lentils, apples, citrus fruits, oats, barley, peas, carrots and ground flax seed.
- Limit refined carbohydrates. A diet full of cookies, cakes, crackers, fluffy breads, chips and sodas can increase triglyceride levels and lower HDL.
- Take coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to be beneficial for heart health by protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation and by re-energizing the mitochondria in the heart cells, which is where energy metabolism occurs. CoQ10 may also help lower blood pressure.
- Take fish oil. Fish oil contains an abundance of essential fatty acids known as omega-3s. Daily fish oil is an effective preventive strategy against heart disease, and has been shown to lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels, minimize inflammation and clotting, and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol.