Cholesterol Lowering Foods

Reducing Bad Cholesterol (LDL)

To help lower your cholesterol, try to fit as many of these foods as possible into your daily diet:-

  • Rolled oats – 2/3 of a cup
  • Ground flaxseeds – 1 or 2 tbsp
  • Other seeds – 1 or 2 tbsp
  • Apples – 1 or 2
  • Beans or chickpeas – 1/2 a cup
  • Almonds or walnuts – 12 nuts
  • Almond or peanut butter with 100% nuts – 1 tbsp
  • Soya products – 1 or 2 servings
  • Garlic – 1 clove
  • Plant sterols or stanols – 2 grams

Here are some easy ways to include them in your meals and snacks:-

  • Eat oat-based breakfasts, like porridge or muesli.
  • Snack on oatcakes with toppings.
  • Add ground flaxseeds to pancakes, curries and houmous.
  • Sprinkle toasted seeds on salads and vegetables.
  • Snack on houmous or roasted chickpeas.
  • Spread almond butter on toast or eat with apple slices.
  • Eat soya yoghurt with muesli or berries.
  • Add garlic to houmous, curries or stir fries.
  • Eat a Benecol/Pro Activ yoghurt drink with your main meal.

Reducing Saturated Fats

Lowering the amount of saturated fat in your diet will also help to lower your cholesterol. You should aim to mostly eat foods with less than 1.5g of saturated fat per 100g, which means avoiding things like fatty meats, processed meats, butter, coconut oil and full fat dairy products.

Important note:- Most oily fish, nuts and oils contain more than 1.5g of saturated fat, but these are ok to include in a cholesterol-lowering diet because they contain a higher proportion of healthy unsaturated fats.

Here are some suggestions for some simple swaps to make that will help to reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet:-

  • Cook with olive or rapeseed oil instead of butter.
  • Replace fatty meats with lean meats, e.g. chicken & fish.
  • Grill foods instead of frying them.
  • Choose semi-skimmed instead of whole milk.
  • Choose filo pastry instead of shortcrust or puff pastry.
  • Eat fat free natural yoghurt instead of full fat.
  • Use olive oil based salad dressings instead of mayonnaise.

There are also tons of recipes online that will fit into a low cholesterol diet, including snacks and desserts – see this page

For more information on saturated fat and which foods to avoid, visit this page on the Heart UK website.

Increasing Good Cholesterol (HDL)

As well as eating lots of foods that lower ‘bad’ cholesterol, try to eat foods that increase ‘good’ cholesterol. For example:-

  • Olive oil
  • Brown rice
  • Oily fish like salmon
  • Avocado
  • Blueberries

See this post for tips on how to incorporate these foods into your daily diet.

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