Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let Your Food Be Your Medicine: Foods That Help Lower High Cholesterol

 I received an email today from a friend who is trying to lose a few pounds and has just learned that she has high cholesterol. Lauren always asks the best questions, so I asked her permission to post the question she emailed me and my response.

Lauren's Question: My cholesterol is high. Any advice for good low cholesterol foods or cholesterol reducing foods?

My Response: Yes. Kris also has high cholesterol. We're managing it be feeding him the following foods:

1. Dark Chocolate: must be higher than 80% pure cocoa. Add to a handful of almonds or walnuts for a healthy snack.

2. Oatmeal for breakfast 2 times a week. Use the 5 minute Organic Oatmeal recipe, Ultrasimple Diet Nut Shake and the Almond Milk Banana Smoothie Recipe. Be careful with the bananas though because they are sugar and calorie dense.
Add 2x the amount of flax seed meal that the recipe calls for. Also go a bit heavier on the almonds since they naturally reduce cholesterol too.

3. Add Flax seeds, flax meal and flax seed oil to protein shakes, salads, dressings etc. whenever you can.

4. Add 2 tbsp of cocoa powder with your coffee in the morning. I know it sounds crazy but cocoa powder really does lower your cholesterol.

5. If you like fish, add a can of sardines or tuna to your favorite salad. Both these fish will increase HDL and lower LDL. 
6. Nuts 
7. Coffee and Tea

8. Red Wine

9. Alliums- Leeks, Onions, Garlic, Green Onions, Scallions, Shallots and Chives

10. Fiber rich Fruits and veggies: Avocado, Shitaki Mushrooms, Watercress, Apples, Peas, Kale, Grapefruit, Oranges, Spinach, tomatoes, Squash, Strawberries, Asperigus, Prunes, Pears. All of these veggies are a great source of soluble fiber and will therefore help to keep your cholesterol in check.

11. Egg Whites- A great source of simple protein and a very heart healthy alternative to beef and pork(both of which significantly increase inflammation in the body and increase bad cholesterol). 

* Check back on Sunday for some delicious meals that will keep your heart healthy. Since cholesterol lowering foods work best when eaten together, I will be assembling some scrumptious menu items that include several of the above mentioned foods. Until then, have a glass of wine or a cup of green tea and toast to your health! 


  1. Great answer about cholesterol, Teresa.
    I would only add that most people don't need to obsess about their cholesterol level. Low cholesterol (below 180) is actually more dangerous than high cholesterol. Low cholesterol is associated with increased risk of cancer and depression. Here are some good articles on the subject:

  2. Thank you so much for the post and the link. Very interesting, otherwise hard to find valuable information regarding the misconceptions of most of us have about the subject of cholesterol. Look forward to reading more of your comments in the future!

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