Health | Food

10 Cholesterol-Lowering Foods That Actually Taste Good

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You may not realize it right away, but eating excess amounts of certain foods can easily increase your cholesterol level.

Your body naturally makes the cholesterol it needs, but when you consume foods that contain high amounts of it, you risk the chance of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol building up in your arteries, which could trigger heart problems.

What you want to be eating are foods that lower LDL or boost high-density lipoproteins (HDL). If you aren't sure where to start, below are 10 foods that you can add to your diet to keep your cholesterol level in check and lower your risk of heart disease. Just remember to always consult a doctor beforehand.

1. Pumpkin

The orange gourd tends to be overlooked as a superfood mainly because it is used in so many unhealthy recipes. However, pumpkin is very rich in fiber and antioxidants, both of which do wonders for your cholesterol level.

2. High pectin fruits

Apples, strawberries and citrus fruits contain high levels of pectin, a soluble fiber that’s effective in reducing LDL.

3. Nuts

Fiber-laden nuts like pistachios, almonds, peanuts and walnuts can help increase your good cholesterol (HDL), while lowering your LDL. Studies also show that these nuts protect your body from oxidative stress, which in turn improves your cardiac health.

4. Fatty Fish

According to the Harvard Health Publishing, eating omega-3-rich fish like sardines will boost your HDL while reducing triglycerides in the blood. They also protect the heart by preventing the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.

5. Beans

Not only are beans like chickpeas, lentils, navy and kidney beans great sources of protein, they also contain soluble fiber that will you have you feeling full longer so you don’t overeat throughout the day.

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