Top 5 foods to fight high cholesterol levels | Health - Hindustan Times

Top 5 foods to fight high cholesterol levels

By, New Delhi
Mar 19, 2024 12:25 PM IST

High cholesterol levels could be the result of bad eating choices over a period of time. Here're foods that will you lower unhealthy cholesterol.

Keeping cholesterol levels in check can not only prevent you from the risk of early death but also infuse more energy and happiness into your daily life. As we all know that cholesterol itself isn't bad and the waxy substance aids in building cells and producing certain hormones. However, courtesy our modern lifestyle choices, we are accumulating too much of it in our body due to our poor eating habits and lack of an active lifestyle. High cholesterol levels in the body can wreak havoc putting us at risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure all the risk factors which could affect quality of our life and even prove to be fatal. (Also read | Morning superfoods: 7 amazing dry fruits, seeds, and nuts to lower cholesterol)

Modifying your diet to include healthy alternatives to fatty and sugary eatables is the first step towards overall well-being and reducing your cholesterol levels. (Freepik)
Modifying your diet to include healthy alternatives to fatty and sugary eatables is the first step towards overall well-being and reducing your cholesterol levels. (Freepik)

Modifying your diet to include healthy alternatives to fatty and sugary eatables is the first step towards overall well-being and reducing your cholesterol levels. From choosing heart-healthy fats like avocados, nuts and olive oil to staying away from processed foods and trans fats, here's what one can do to keep the cholesterol levels in control.

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Nutritionist Bhakti Arora Kapoor in her latest Instagram post talks about the heroes and villains of cholesterol – HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and explains how one can boost the good while keeping the bad at bay.

How to choose cholesterol-friendly foods

"It's all about the foods we choose! Opt for heart-healthy fats found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil to raise HDL levels. Fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can also lower LDL levels. And don't forget the power of omega-3 fatty acids from sources like salmon and chia seeds to further improve your cholesterol profile," says Kapoor.

Kapoor says processed foods, saturated fats, and trans fats can send your cholesterol levels soaring.

"You've got both bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein or LDL) and good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein or HDL) and those levels can fluctuate based on what you eat. There is no single food that will help you lower your cholesterol and it's important to focus on the quality of your overall diet. A diet rich in plant foods like vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds will help to manage your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart diseases," says the nutritionist.

Kapoor lists food items that can lower cholesterol levels.


1. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds contain alpha - linolenic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty acids which been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides levels. You can add flaxseeds to your breakfast cereal, sandwich, or yoghurt. If you are fond of baking, you can add them to your cookies, muffins, and other baked goods.

2. Fish oil

Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Regular intake of these fatty acids in the form of fish like mackerel, salmon, lake trout, sardines and halibut help in lowering the cholesterol levels and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

3. Garlic

Garlic contains a high concentration of allicin, a sulfur containing compound which is known for reducing total and LDL cholesterol significantly. Chew a few cloves of garlic in the morning and at bedtime regularly. Raw garlic works better than cooked ones. You can also add them to your curries for added taste and nutrition.

4. Dark leafy greens

While all vegetables are good for your heart, dark leafy greens are particularly beneficial. Dark leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, contain lutein and other carotenoids, which are linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

5. Legumes

Legumes contain a lot of fibre, minerals and protein. Replacing some refined grains and processed meats in your diet with legumes can lower your risk of heart disease. Eat dal-chawal, cheela, dosa or soup to enjoy legumes.

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