High cholesterol and heart disease go hand in hand. More than 71 million Americans have high cholesterol, putting them at greater risk for a heart attack or stroke. With heart disease being the leading cause of death in the United States, it’s easy to understand the national focus on managing cholesterol levels.
Do you have high cholesterol? Does a family member? It’s important to know your numbers and be proactive with your health. The American Heart Association campaign Heart360 and The Power of Knowing Your Numbers helps you look at the big picture related to your health. Proper nutrition, exercise, weight management and not smoking are all part of leading a heart-healthy life.
Diet and nutrition play an important role in managing and lowering your cholesterol. Pomona Valley Health Centers (PVHC) in Claremont, Chino Hills and Pomona are here to help you be heart healthy, starting with your diet. We’ve pulled together a list of ten foods that can help you lower your cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease.
10 Cholesterol-Lowering Foods to Add to Your Diet
- Oats and whole grains are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which helps your body absorb less cholesterol.
- Nuts — such as walnuts, cashews and almonds — are loaded with cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats.
- Avocados are another great source of monounsaturated fats that raise your good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol. They’re also loaded with a plant-based fat called beta-sitosterol. It reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food.
- Garlic helps stop nanoplaque — artery-clogging plaque at its earliest stage — by keeping individual cholesterol particles from sticking to your artery walls.
- Fatty fish, like salmon, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that protect against high cholesterol while raising good cholesterol and lowering triglycerides. Salmon is also an excellent source of protein.
- Green and black teas are loaded with antioxidants, mainly flavonoids that prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol that leads to plaque formation on the walls of your arteries.
- Beans and legumes are a great source of soluble fiber that helps limit cholesterol absorption.
- Apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits are high in pectin, a soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol by blocking absorption.
- Dark green veggies, like Brussels sprouts, are high in soluble fiber, helping block your body from absorbing cholesterol. Spinach is pumped full of lutein, which helps the walls of your arteries deflect the buildup of cholesterol.
- Soy is a complete plant protein that is high in fiber, low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free. It makes for a great protein option.
Worried about your risk for developing heart disease? Want to know your numbers? The PVHC family doctors in Claremont, California can help. Call 909-630-7938 to make an appointment.