Foods that lower cholesterol:
A review of cholesterol reducing foods
Got high cholesterol? You may want to add foods that lower cholesterol to your diet before turning to prescription medications. Scientists have conducted countless studies in recent decades and have been identifying foods that reduce cholesterol levels. Take a few minutes to look at this page and see the fruits, vegetables, nuts and other foods that have been classified by researchers as cholesterol busters. You may also want to visit our page on other natural ways to lower cholesterol.
(Note: Countless studies have shown that being overweight is a risk factor for elevated cholesterol. To see weight loss tips statistically validated by researchers at Consumer Reports magazine, click this link.
Foods that Lower Cholesterol - FRUITS
In 2004, researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported results of an animal study showing that blueberries were more effective in lowering cholesterol levels than the cholesterol medication, ciprofibrate. All hamsters in the study were fed a high-cholesterol diet, and one group received blueberry skins and another received the drug. The blueberry group had cholesterol levels 37 percent lower than the control group while the ciprofibrate group's cholesterol levels were 17 percent lower than the control group. Authors of the study attributed the cholesterol-lowering effect to a compound in blueberries called pterostilbene, which caused liver cells to activate a response that leads to lower cholesterol. Blueberries top our list of foods that lower cholesterol.
Another added benefit of blueberries. Researchers have determined that blueberries have some of the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants of all fruits studied. Check out our page that lists foods containing health-promoting antioxidants.
Eating fresh blueberries is the preferred way of getting the benefits of these amazing fruits. However, there are firms that offer wild blueberry powders and capsules, and dried wild blueberries so you can get the health benefits of blueberries when they are out of season. Traverse Bay Farms offers free shipping on all blueberry supplements and larger orders of dried organic blueberries.
Grapes & Wine
Grapes also contain cholesterol lowering pterostilbene, as well as resveratol, a similar compound that's been shown to have a role in reducing cholesterol. In 2008, researchers at Madrid University developed a juice from the skin and seeds of red grapes and instructed 34 human volunteers to add the concoction to their regular diet over a 16-week period. After this time frame, volunteers experienced a 14 percent drop in cholesterol levels and a five percent drop in blood pressure readings, according to a report in the medical journal, Nutrition.
Grapes are also included on our list of fruits that prevent cancer.
Wine derived from grapes is also on this foods that lower cholesterol list. Reports have found two ingredients in wine that improve cholesterol: resveratol to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and ethanol, which has been shown to raise HDL (good) cholesterol.
The old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," applies in the case of lowering cholesterol. Apples contain a good amount of pectin, which has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and has other benefits, including improving insulin resistance and boosting the immune system. One apple contains about 10 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake. Adequate fiber has been demonstrated to lower cholesterol naturally as the fiber helps cleanse cholesterol out of the digestive tract.
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Citrus - Grapefruit and Oranges
These fruits are well-known for providing significant amounts of vitamin C but they are also foods that lower cholesterol.
Grapefruit - Grapefruit have significant amounts of cholesterol-lowering pectin as 60 to 70 percent of the dietary fiber in citrus fruits is pectin. A 2006 study by Israeli researchers found that eating one grapefruit daily for 30 days significantly lowered cholesterol, with cholesterol levels dropping some 15 percent. The study found red grapefruit lowered cholesterol more effectively than white grapefruit.
Oranges - Besides containing significant levels of pectin, oranges also top the list of fruits in the amount of plant sterols. Phytosterols or plant sterols have been shown in a 2000 USDA study to lower cholesterol levels significantly. Another component of oranges is limonin, which a 2000 research project found to have cholesterol-reducing properties. The peel and inner white pulp of an orange contains herperidin, which has been shown to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure in animal studies. Orange peels are also a source of polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs), which can naturally lower cholesterol more effectively than drugs, according to a 2004 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Since eating orange peels is not palatable, you may want to grate some orange rind over salads or use them to add spice to tea, yogurt or other foods.
In addition to consuming foods that lower cholesterol, you may want to consider adding an all natural cholesterol-reducing supplement to your routine. One option is a supplement that contains plant sterols, citrus rind extracts and Policosanol, which is a sugar cane extract proven to lower cholesterol. For more on Policosanol, visit our page that outlines herbs that lower cholesterol. Cholest-Natural is a high-quality product manufactured by a New Zealand company that conducts rigorous testing on the purity and efficiency of its products so that they exceed guidelines set by governments around the world, including Britain and the U.S. This product is so effective there are dozens of unsolicited testimonials on the company's website in which customers share their cholesterol numbers before and after taking the product. See if Cholest-Natural is the right cholesterol supplement for you.
Tart cherries make this list of foods that lower cholesterol. Tart cherries are different from bing cherries or sweet cherries and most of them are grown in the Upper Midwest. An animal study conducted at the University of Michigan and presented at the 2008 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego found that tart cherries lower cholesterol. Rats fed tart cherry powder and a high-fat diet resembling the typical American diet, had cholesterol levels 11 percent lower than the animals fed the same high-fat diet without any cherry powder. The group that received the tart cherry powder also had lower blood sugar levels and less fat around the midsection. Researchers at the University of Michigan say they plan to conduct a human trial measuring the benefits of the fruit. Cherries are also a natural treatment for gout.
Tart cherry powder and tart cherry capsules are available (with no shipping charge) from Traverse Bay Farms. They also offer dried tart cherries, which are delicious and can be added to yogurt, cereal or salads.
Although this is a high-calorie food, it has been shown to lower cholesterol naturally in numerous studies. Research conducted in Mexico that involved 45 participants showed that after eating avocado daily for one week, participants' total cholesterol dropped 17 percent and their HDL (good) cholesterol increased 11 percent. Avocados contain sitosterol, a nutrient that has been shown to lower cholesterol in more than a dozen human studies.
Foods that Lower Cholesterol - VEGETABLES
If you'd like to reduce your cholesterol 11 percent in 3 weeks, start eating 2 raw carrots every morning. A study conducted in Scotland found that individuals who ate 2 raw carrots every morning for three weeks experienced an 11 percent drop in cholesterol.
The cholesterol-reducing magic in carrots is high levels of pectin combined with calcium pectate, a soluable fiber that lowers cholesterol that was studied by Peter D. Hoagland, Ph.D., a researcher for the USDA. Dr. Hoagland discovered that calcium pectate helps the digestive system flush cholesterol out of the body. In addition, carrots are also near the top of the list of vegetables with a high concentration of plant sterols.
Carrots also made our list of vegetables that prevent cancer.
A 2007 report from the USDA Agriculture Research Service found that over a 12-week period, adding one-half cup of cooked dry pinto beans to the diet reduced cholesterol in all study participants that received the beans. Participants who did not receive the beans received chicken soup instead.
All beans can be regarded as foods that lower cholesterol because they contain significant amounts of fiber, which has been shown to lower cholesterol in various studies.
Foods that Lower Cholesterol - NUTS
Many people think of nuts as a junk food, loaded with calories, salt and fat. But studies have shown that nuts can be healthy. In fact, in 2003 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a "qualified health claim" that peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts can lower the risk of heart disease.
A 2004 study involving 58 adults with diabetes showed that eating a handful of walnuts every day in conjuction with a healthy diet lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol 10 percent and raised HDL (good) cholesterol. Dr. David Jenkins MD led a three-month research project in 2002 with 27 adult participants with high cholesterol. People who ate one handful of almonds a day lowered their bad cholesterol 4.4 percent and those who ate 2 handfuls of almonds saw bad cholesterol drop 9.4 percent.
Foods high in Omega 3 Fatty acidsSeveral large clinical studies have shown that Omega 3 fatty acids work to lower cholesterol. Two of the richest sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are specific types of fish and flaxseeds.
Wild-Caught Salmon- Cholesterol-lowering Omega 3 fatty acids are present in abundance in fish wild-caught salmon. Lower levels of Omega 3 fatty acids occur in halibut, shrimp, snapper, scallops and cod. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish with Omega 3 fatty acids twice a week.
One highly regarded supplier of wild caught salmon, recommended by a host of medical doctors and authors, including Dr. Andrew Weil, is Vital Choice. Their seafood is pure, sustainably harvested, with a taste people are raving about. Visit VitalChoice.com to find a wide variety of salmon recipes in the newsletter archive section. The company also offers the highest-quality organic blueberries and nuts. Vital Choice is a premier supplier of foods that lower cholesterol, as well as pure and potent fish oil capsules.
Flaxseeds are a highly effective way to get your omega 3 fatty acids and lower cholesterol naturally. Just two tablespoons of flaxseeds provide 146 percent of the recommended daily value of omega 3 fatty acids, according to the non-profit George Mateljan Foundation and author of the "World's Healthiest Foods" website, www.whfoods.com.
Foods that Lower Cholesterol - ALOE VERAAloe vera is well known as a topical sunburn remedy but can also be taken internally to promote a healthy body.
In a 2003 animal study study in Seoul, Korea, researchers looked at aloe vera supplementation and its effect on cholesterol. The groups that received aloe supplements showed approximately 30 percent lower cholesterol levels. A five-year human study in the 1980s involving 5000 patients with angina found that supplementation with Husk of Isabgol (Psyllium husk) and aloe vera resulted in drastically reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Subjects LDL (bad) cholesterol dropped 40 to 80 percent and their triglycerides dropped 20 to 70 percent.I have found aloe vera supplementation very beneficial to my cholesterol, with my LDL (bad) cholesterol dropping 19 percent and overall cholesterol dropping 12 percent after 4 months of aloe vera supplementation. I started taking aloe vera as a vitamin/mineral regimen and was amazed when it lowered my cholesterol naturally. Doctors had been talking about putting me on a prescription to lower my cholesterol.
One supplier of several varieties of organic aloe vera juice is evitamins.com. To see their rather large selection of aloe vera juices, click here.