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I'm a dietician – these are five of the best foods to naturally slash cholesterol levels


If someone is suffering from high cholesterol it means they have too much of a fatty substance known as cholesterol in their blood. Over time this can build up in the blood vessels causing blockages.

For this reason having high cholesterol is a major risk factor for medical emergencies such as strokes and heart attacks.

There are several potential causes of high cholesterol, with diet being one of them.

More specifically, eating too much saturated fat can raise your cholesterol levels. This includes foods such as fatty meats, cheese, butter and ice cream.

However, certain foods can also lower your cholesterol levels.

With this in mind, an expert spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about how to lower your cholesterol levels using diet.

Rosie Martin, registered dietitian at Plant Based Health Professionals, recommended eating more of five types of food for this reason.

“You are more at risk of high cholesterol if you eat lot’s of foods containing saturated fat,” she explained.

“These include animal products like meats, cheeses, creams and butter, and highly processed foods like cakes, biscuits, pastries as well as many ready meals and takeaways.

“Saturated fat can block receptors on the liver that take cholesterol out of the blood and break it down. With less cholesterol being broken down, it can build up and result in complications.”

According to Rosie, upping your fibre intake is one way to slash cholesterol levels.

Therefore she advised eating more:

  • Whole grains like oats and brown rice
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • High protein meat alternatives such as soya and beans.

Rosie continued: “You are also more at risk of a high cholesterol with low intake of foods high in fibre.

“Fibre is exclusive to plant foods, and so these include whole grains such as oats and brown rice, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and high-protein meat alternatives like soya and beans.

“Eating a higher fibre diet is linked to a lower body weight, lower blood pressure and a lower cholesterol.

“When you eat fibre-rich plants, you also gain other healthy components such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, resulting in a lower risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

“Certain fibres, for example beta glucan in oats and barley, forms a gel in your bowel which binds to cholesterol and stops it being reabsorbed into the blood, therefore lowering your circulating levels of cholesterol.”

This advice is backed by experts at Harvard Medical School in the US. On their website they say: “Soluble fibre becomes a thick gel in our intestines, which slows digestion (which keeps blood sugars from spiking) and traps fats so they can’t all be absorbed (which lowers cholesterol levels).

“Sources of soluble fibre include oatmeal, beans, lentils, and many fruits. Insoluble fibre helps keep our stools soft and regular, always a good thing.

“Sources of insoluble fibre include whole grains, beans, lentils, and most vegetables.”

Government guidelines say our dietary fibre intake should be 30 grams a day, however, most of us are thought to only eat around 20g.

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