Cholesterol numbers too high? These five diet and lifestyle strategies let you nudge numbers down without medication. By: Maureen Callahan, MS, RD
Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is important to health for a lot of reasons. But when it comes to lowering cholesterol levels, soluble fiber, the kind found in oats, apples, and barley, is most adept. Studies suggest at least 3 grams of soluble fiber is needed. Start with a half cup of either oats (2 grams soluble fiber), black beans (2.4 grams), or Brussels sprouts (2 grams). Other good sources: sweet potatoes, asparagus, turnips, citrus fruits, peas, and strawberries. Starting your morning with a bowl of oatmeal, like this version with apples, hazelnuts, and flaxseed is always a heart-healthy, fiber-filled way to start your day.
One more thing: To reap the most benefits from soluble fiber make it part of a diet low in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol, says the American Heart Association.