Oats: Eating a diet rich in whole grains is associated with having healthier cholesterol levels. Oats contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan. If you currently have high cholesterol levels, oats can lower cholesterol by as much as 20 per cent. Oats and oatmeal are also an excellent source of minerals and protein.
Walnuts: Walnuts are rich in both monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids. Eating these nuts may be able to reduce cholesterol levels by around 15 per cent, and may also improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation. Walnuts are also an excellent source of vitamin E, minerals and B-complex vitamins.
Dry beans: Dry beans, such as kidney beans, navy beans, and black beans, are very high in fibre and plant proteins. Adding beans to a diet can reduce cholesterol levels, as long as the overall calorie count is not increased. Beans are also high in B-complex vitamins and minerals.
Olive oil: Olive oil is probably the best-known source of monounsaturated fatty acids and can reduce cholesterol and inflammation. Olive oil should be included in a heart-healthy diet in place of saturated or trans fats.
Orange juice: Orange juice is best known as a breakfast drink and source of vitamin C. But it’s also high in potassium, magnesium, vitamin A and B-complex vitamins. One research study also found that drinking orange juice every day lowered cholesterol levels and suggested that orange juice might also be helpful for people who didn’t have elevated cholesterol.
Avocado: This is an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids and plant sterols that can help to reduce cholesterol. Research suggests that adding avocado to a heart-healthy diet can increase the cholesterol-lowering benefit. Avocado is also rich in protein, fibre, B-complex vitamins, vitamin K, and several minerals.