Top 10 Foods to Lower Cholesterol Levels for Healthy Heart

Last Updated on December 21st, 2020

Cholesterol plays an important role in our body. Cholesterol helps in building cells of the body but not all cholesterol is considered the same.

Two types of cholesterol are – LDL (Low-density cholesterol) and HDL(High-density cholesterol). LDL is called ‘bad cholesterol’. If it gets accumulated in arteries, causes hardening of arteries and can lead to atherosclerosis, heart disease. HDL ‘good cholesterol’ helps in removing bad cholesterol from the body.

High HDL is good for the body while high LDL is considered bad for the body. Few changes in your lifestyle and diet could help you to increase your HDL and decrease your LDL. 

cholesterol levels affect body
cholesterol levels affect body


Change in diet along with lifestyle and indulging yourself in the habit of exercising daily can help you reduce your cholesterol levels in due course of time.

Diet – Indulge yourself more in fruits, vegetables, beans, and such type of diet. More the low-fat diet you would take more are the chances of prevention from high cholesterol.

Limited fat intake – Always try to limit the fat intake. Try to indulge more in good fat rather than fried food.

More plant-based protein food – Plant-based protein usually lowers blood cholesterol levels on the other hand animal-based protein increases blood cholesterol levels. 

Reduce excess weight – Shedding excess weight is one of the most important ways to reduce cholesterol and keeping the cholesterol levels on track always.

weight loss , lower cholesterol levels for heart
weight loss , lower cholesterol levels for heart


Moving and exercising – Plan your day in such a way that you may go for 20 minutes brisk walk at least once a day or plan some simple exercises according to your body requirement.

Quit smoking – Not smoking is essential to control cholesterol levels. Though in some people after changing the lifestyle too, medications might be needed to control the levels. 

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Foods to Lower Cholesterol Levels Naturally 

Various foods available in our kitchen easily are beneficial in lowering cholesterol naturally. These foods are simple, inexpensive, and easily available.

Berries – These are one of the best sources of antioxidants which helps in lowering bad cholesterol LDL and increase HDL good cholesterol.

Fruits – Good fruits like oranges, apples, grapes are a good source of fiber and antioxidants that lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.

Vegetables – Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, bell peppers are a very good source of fiber and antioxidants. You must avoid fruits and vegetables with salt and sugar.

green foods for healthy eating
green foods for healthy eating

Oats – Oats are the best source of fiber which helps in reducing LDL cholesterol. 

Lentils – Protein-based beans and lentils are a good source of fiber too that also helps in lowering bad cholesterol.  Beans and lentils are alternate to animal protein too that have unhealthy fat that is also harmful to the body. 

Walnuts and flax seeds – Nuts and dry fruits have protein, fiber, and a good amount of antioxidants that keep the cholesterol levels on track. But nuts coated with salt should be avoided.

Soybeans – These are rich in fiber, a protein that helps in lowering LDL cholesterol levels.


foods for lower cholesterol levels
foods for lower cholesterol levels

What Else Can Help for Healthy Heart?

Dark chocolate – They have an antioxidant effect that lowers LDL cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol. Dark chocolates with less sugar and more cocoa are considered good keeping cholesterol on track.

Avocado – They contain high fiber and monounsaturated fats avocados lower total cholesterol. Avocados could be added to a sandwich or diced avocados can be added to a bowl of veggies.

Green tea – Lowering LDL to prevent cholesterol and heart disease green tea consumption can do a trick. Green tea do wonders in maintaining cholesterol and keeping health on track.

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Pomegranate juice – This juice has antioxidants higher than other fruit juices and is a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent various heart diseases and reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.

pomegranate fuits benefits
pomegranate fuits benefits

Fish oil – It is also available in the form of supplements and is rich in omega 3 fatty acids it is considered great for maintaining cholesterol levels. Taking fish oil daily prevents the amount of fat being carried into blood. It thus prevents the deposition of cholesterol in arteries. Taking fish oil helps in increasing HDL and reducing LDL. Thus improving heart health and increasing life expectancy. 



Healthy foods – Few good changes in diet can help you lower cholesterol super fast. 

Reducing saturated and trans fat – Saturated fats are found in red meat and dairy products while trans fat is found in cookies, cakes, and bakery products. Decreasing consumption of saturated and trans fat reduces the ‘bad cholesterol’ and improves ‘good cholesterol’.

unhealthy cholesterol levels
unhealthy cholesterol levels

Having omega 3 rich foods – They have heart health benefits improves blood pressure and improves heart functioning. 

Increase fiber in diet – Increasing fiber in diet such as oats, apples, walnuts improves total cholesterol and improves cholesterol levels and heart health.

Quick benefit by quitting smoking – Quitting smoking improves heart health within a year by reducing the risk of heart disease and improving lung function and cholesterol health. The improvement could be observed within a year after quitting smoking completely.

Shed kilos improves health – Shedding extra pounds might bring the most important change in your life. Small changes show big results. Limit consumption of salted and sugary food including beverages, candies, and fried food. Switch towards consuming at least 2 liters of water in a day.

workout and exercise for healthy heart
workout and exercise for healthy heart

Exercise daily or at least include brisk walking for 20 minutes in a day as a part of your daily routine. Try to increase more physical activity in your daily life and cut down carbs. This way you can keep your cholesterol levels on track and you can also witness improvement in your overall health.

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Limiting alcohol or cutting down completely – Alcohol consumption should always be done in moderation. Too much alcohol lead to serious health problems, high blood pressure, disrupt cholesterol markers, and affect overall health.


lower cholesterol levels with healthy foods
lower cholesterol levels with healthy foods

Concluding Thoughts

On the final note, I would like to conclude most of the improvement could be observed by these lifestyle changes only. But if you are not able to see the good results you must always try to consult your doctor and must include medications as prescribed by him along with continuing the lifestyle modifications. 

Continuing lifestyle changes can help you keep your medication dose low and maybe at some point in time you may be able to get rid of medications completely. 

Dr Jyotsana Anand
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