Nutrition: Top 10 Cholesterol Lowering Foods

  1. Apples: Apple pectin is a soluble fiber that helps draw cholesterol out of the system. The flavonoids (Quercetin) in apples act as a powerful antioxidant that seems to short-circuit the process that leads “bad” LDL cholesterol to accumulate in the bloodstream.
  2. Beans: Beans and vegetables are an excellent source of soluble fiber and high in vegetable protein. By properly combing beans with brown rice, seeds, corn, wheat you can create a complete protein. Properly combined beans become an excellent substitute for red meat protein that is high in saturated fat.
  3. Brown Rice: The oil in whole brown rice, not its fiber, lowers cholesterol. Brown rice can be combined with beans to form an inexpensive complete protein low in saturated fat. In addition, this whole grain also supplies good doses of heart-healthy fiber, magnesium and B vitamins.
  4. Cinnamon: A study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in people with type-2 diabetes. It also reduces triglyceride, LDL, the bad cholesterol and the total cholesterol level.
  5. Garlic: Garlic contains the chemical allicin, which has been shown to kill bacteria and fungi, and alleviate certain digestive disorders. It also lowers the blood-clotting properties of blood. But the most notable attention garlic has received over recent years is its possible usefulness in lowering cholesterol levels.
  6. Grapes: Flavonoids in grapes protect LDL cholesterol from free radical damage and reduce platelet clumping. The LDL lowering effect of grapes comes from a compound that grapes produce normally to resist mold. The darker the grape, the better.
  7. Oats: Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol. Five to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day decreases LDL cholesterol by about 5 percent. Eating 1.5 cups of cooked oatmeal provides 4.5 grams of fiber — enough to lower your cholesterol.
  8. Salmon: The major health components in salmon include: Omega-3 fatty-acids and protein. These components have a favorable cardiovascular effect. The American Heart Association recommends that people include at least two servings of fish/week, particularly fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and herring), in their diets.
  9. Soy: The top health promoting components in soybeans are isoflavones and soluble fiber. Isoflavones act like human hormone that can lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. All soy products (soybeans, soy nuts, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, etc.) are complete proteins.
  10. Walnuts: Walnuts can significantly reduce blood cholesterol because they are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy and elastic. Almonds appear to have a similar effect, resulting in a marked improvement within just four weeks. A cholesterol-lowering diet with a little less than 1/3 of a cup of walnuts a day may reduce LDL cholesterol by 12%.

via Dietmotion

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    • Kaison

      I think brown rice bran oil lowers cholesterol very well.

    • RJL

      A very handy list! Thanks.

      A healthy HDL level is 45 or greater. Mine was
      at 35 while I was on a virtually-no-fat diet.
      But now, for the past year or so, I’ve been
      eating almond butter, probably 6-8 tablespoons
      a day, spread on toast. My HDL is now 47.

      Only disadvantage: Almond butter is pricey.
      I pay $7 for a 16 oz jar.

      Incidentally, almond butter is a soft at
      refrigerator temperatures, so you know it has
      lots of polyunsaturated fatty acids–a good
      kind of fat.

    • jaime

      Thanks for the list. My LDL is over a hundred and my good is at 24. So, I definitely needed this list! Thanks.

    • marlene


    • Farah

      I have a very high LDL, ang this is my first time i knew about it, thanks for the lists.

    • ALINA


    • http://lowerinLDLdiet bobie

      I found out I have high LDL (boderline)this week, I was little worried about it but thanks for the diet you litsted on this web site…

    • sana

      thanks for the diet/

    • masarrat ali

      recently came to know abt high colestrol level thanks for satisfying my questions of what i should eat now.

    • josh

      Um, Alina?

      Your tip is totally false. Unless your oats are magic and can somehow regenerate their fiber content after you drain them, you’re getting exactly the same amount of fiber as if you just prepared the oatmeal normally.

      Think about it.

    • sharon

      My Dr. placed me on lipitor for my cholesterol but did not give me any instructions or diet to help lower it. Well taking only the Lipitor do the job ? I am 66 years old and I am not over weight.

    • brenda

      I found this information very helpful I just found out that I have high cholesterol. MY doctor told me to diet and exercise.

    • Lori

      Josh and Alina, what you may have been trying to explain is that by ‘soaking’ the oats, or grains, they become more easily digested. No soaking does not increase the fiber, just breaks down the acids making it more digestible. FYI, try adding a bit of lemon juice or whey and this will facilitate the soaking process. Good luck all!

    • Linda

      I think Doctors automatically try to give you medicines for everything, that’s where the dollar signs come into the picture. And on top of that, the side effects of the medications can be worse than the illness. I am a diabetic and have high cholesterol. During the last 6 months I have lowered my cholesterol 20 points without medication. I know everyone is different and you have to make your own decision, but please take the time to research. Knowledge is your best weapon against all the ills of the world.

    • doug

      I was diagnosed with a leaky valve. Doctor put me on a low fat, low cholesterol, low salt or no salt diet. I went from 221 down to 185 in 2 months. I eat cheerios and no red meat. Plenty of salad, egg beaters, whole wheat breads, 1% milk, salmon twice a week, tuna, chicken, etc. All healthy foods. I also eat dark grapes, but never new it is good for lowering your tryglicerides. Mine was 331, and my cholesterol was 227. Absolutely no salt do i add in my foods. Its been so hard, because i love to cook and eat. But my health is more important. I don’t want to have a heart attack. I will definitely follow your menu. My question is? When can we go back to eating regular foods again?

    • Barbara

      I have been told I have high LDL and Triclycerides – I have been a strict vegan for 25 years and until last year when I went thru menopause my cholesterol was normal. I already eat oatmeal everyday, vegemite and walnut sandwiches frequently, lots of soy and drink organic red grape juice. I will try to eat more of the suggested foods (x the salmon) and will report again in 6 weeks. My mother died of arteriosclerosis so I assume there is some heriditary component – I am desperate not to take statins.

    • http://google Guru

      Vrey informative..will start to work on low cholestrol diet.thks

    • John

      Be aware of false “natural” claims on food labels. A couple of years ago, my total cholesterol was 189, with an optimal LDL to HDL ratio. Around the same time, I started eating a “natural” peanut butter daily. No partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, so no trans fats, but is does have PALM oil. Just had blood work done recently, and even though I exercise regularly, eat oatmeal for breakfast, whole grain bread for lunch, and generally watch my diet otherwise, cholesterol was 229 total. LDL was too high, everything else was OK. That “natural” peanut butter is the only thing I can put my finger on. My doc put me on a low level statin (there is family history – it might not be my diet alone) and I see him again in 4 months. I’ve got a spare tire around the middle to get rid of, too. I’m going to switch to almond butter and see if both the LDL and spare tire go down.

    • ilyssahopkins

      Hi. I’m an intern at Johns Hopkins Medicine and working on a women’s health conference. You may be interested in knowing that Johns Hopkins Internist Dr. Jeanne Clark will talk about healthy weight loss, options—from popular diets and lifestyle changes to medication and surgery—to achieve realistic goals, and the short and long-term health effects of weight loss at A Woman’s Journey, Saturday, November 14, 2009. The lecture is described on the conference website:

    • Dean Jenkins

      Just published an interesting case report which counters the assumption that natural substances can be taken without risk of harm. Whilst reducing LDL cholesterol plant sterols have not been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk.

    • Connie Smith

      About two years ago my husband’s cholesterol was 250. His doctor didn’t want to put him on drugs of any kind so she recommended that he take two fish oil pills per day, the kind from the deep sea. COSTCO sells them. He started to take them and in six months he dropped his level to 179. He is 60 years old, 5′ 11′ tall and weighs 185.

    • Carol

      My husband’s cholesterol was through the roof. The list is great but I need recipes and menus. Breakfast is not a problem.

      He travels during the week so my biggest meal preparations are on Friday and Saturdays and last week we had turkey for 3 of those meals. I don’t cook fish, because I don’t like the smell in my kitchen.

      Can anyone point to a website that I can pull menus from or a more expansive lists of foods that lower-cholesterol.


    • niloofar

      take some white fish from castco store and season it with some salt and garlic powder and cook it in vegetable oil, it does not smell at all and is so tasty. i am cooking this kind of fish since months but i have never felt any smell at all and the good news is that its so tasty and much cheaper than others

    • mariyath

      I could say this is a very informative article and helps me to avoid heart-risk.

    • Healthy

      The best advices i have got lately… Thanks

    • Bradley

      This is a good list with most of the foods mentioned being in the good to eat spectrum. One should know their cholesterol level it’s easy to find out see http:www/ and using some of the food groups mentioned you can control it well.

    • subha

      wow ! wonderful info will be really helpful. thankful to the team behind the display.

    • Teresa F.

      I never knew I could find so much info on one site. The ten foods are a plus but I’m more excited about the walnuts. They recently confirmed that walnuts have a much more lowering effect than fish. Thanks for compiling this…I’m a researcher into cholesterol, you can find my site at

    • bukhtiar

      Information on Tryglycerides Levels My cholesterol level is 259 and tryglyceride 550 very high and I was not smoking also. my age 34 years weight 85kg bp-90-140 .Please suggest me?

    • Rakuo

      My family use rice brown as main daily diet, and the fact is, no one of my (big) family has cholesterol related disease, so I thing what stated above is right…

      rakuo @

    • Larry

      Thank you for a great article. I add fibers to my salad, yogurt and sometimes even to my coffee, it’s one of the best ways to maintain a normal level of cholesterol. I also drink Pomegranate, Dandelion and milk thistle herbal tea which helps to reduce LDL level and to cleanse the liver. All these herbs can be found in ready herbal teabags called Colestel tea by Galilee tisanes.

    • David in Dallas

      I’m 60. Lipitor was my first anti-cholesterol drug. I’ve tried them all. The doctor did not warn me when I started Lipitor, but it gave me severe leg cramps. I’ve discovered that my body does not tolorate any Statin. So, I’m on my own.

      I’ve been able to reduce my cholesterol with a controlled diet, but I love great food and cooking, so it’s a challenge for me to control my cholosterol.

    • http://blisstree.xom Kat Hunter

      Hey, Barbara! I found this very informative site by putting “cholesterol” on Google’s search line. I’m 62 and diabetic, so I’m re-learning how to eat. If you want to learn about arterioscleriosis, just put it on Google’s search line.

    • Wesley

      What about almond milk, like the kind that comes in a half gallon size in the organic section of the milk case?

    • John

      I found on another website (sorry, didn’t bookmark it) that almond milk has the same nutritional benefits as almonds. Do a search on “almond milk”; you’ll probably find the website I saw, plus others.

    • http://hotmail Anne

      Is this your porrige intake for the day? Alina


      My Cholestrol is 7.3 dont want to take medication would prefer to try the diet way to reduce it.

      P.S Do not publish e-mail address

    • Graham Winfield

      Try Alfalite, its low in lactose and no cholesterol, made from whey, tastes just like milk.