10 Foods That Fight High Cholesterol

If you want to get control of your cholesterol before a doctor puts you on a lifetime of medications, change what you eat.

So often, a "healthy diet" is defined not by what you eat, but rather by what you don't eat. That is, stay away from potato chips and ice cream and you must be eating a healthy diet. Not so fast. The focus should instead be on what you do eat.

Doctors now know that certain foods have specific effects on the human body, and some foods are known to naturally lower cholesterol. Print this list and take it to the grocery store.

10 foods that naturally fight high cholesterol, according to Quality Health News:

1. Walnuts
Packed with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts help lower dangerous levels of fatty triglycerides.

2. Whole-grain oats
Eat your oatmeal or Cheerios. Fiber that is found in unrefined whole-grain foods can help lower cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association.

3. Blueberries
U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers say pterostilbene, an antioxidant in blueberries, may help to lower cholesterol.

4. Shiitake mushrooms
The active component eritadenine helps lower overall cholesterol levels.

5. Salmon
This excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to lower "bad" LDL cholesterol, while raising "good" HDL levels.

6. Garlic
Studies show that eating garlic regularly reduces LDL and raises HDL levels.

7. Black beans
Black beans are high in dietary fiber, an effective fighter against cholesterol.

8. Avocados
They're rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat shown to help lower cholesterol.

9. Apples
Packed with pectin, fiber and many powerful antioxidants, apples help lower LDL and raise HDL levels.

10. Leafy green vegetables
Eating four or more servings of fruits/vegetables a day significantly lowered LDL, compared to those who ate less, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Family Heart Study found. The best? That's spinach, kale and collard greens.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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