Foods that will help you lower your cholesterol

There are many ways in which you can keep your cholesterol within a healthy range; taking recommended medication, maintaining weight levels, living a balanced lifestyle and watching what you eat.

Food can be the easiest thing to address when looking to reduce your cholesterol. Below we outline a few food types that would be worth introducing into your diet (if they don't already feature.)

Nuts - great for snacking, even better for reducing total and LDL levels of cholesterol. Rich in magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and fibre you should look to introduce these into your diet, however portion size needs to be monitored as nuts can be high in calories, luckily only a small amount (say 40 almonds in a day) can see you getting enough to impact your cholesterol levels.

Fatty fish - omega-3 fats have a number of health benefits associated with them, reducing blood pressure and the risk of developing blood clots being key ti it's presence in this list. Fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel should be baked or grilled to avoid adding unhealthy fats to your dish.

Beans - the likes of chickpeas, kidney, black, pinto or butter beans are all great foods for your heart as they assist with reducing total and LDL cholesterol levels due to being rich in fibre. They can be added to almost every dish just be sure to rinse them well as their liquids tens to be high in sodium. 

Avocado - the most recent addition to menus across the country within the past few years, avocados are the super-food when it comes to cholesterol. Not only do they raise HDL levels, they lower LDL and are also packed with beta-sitosterol which is a plant-based fat that reduces the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from food. But they are also high in calories and fat so do need to be eaten in moderation.   

Fruit & Vegetables - yes that classic mantra of having 5 a day isn't just something that was invented to convince us as kids to eat our veg. Fruit and vegetables help us with keeping our saturated fat intake low and contain soluble fibres which play a role in reducing cholesterol levels. 

So now what to do with these food groups? Heart UK have a range of heart healthy recipes that will have you on your way to improved cholesterol levels.