6. Nosh on a handful of raw nuts or seeds daily.
Nuts help lower total and LDL cholesterol. However, they can be high in calories, so stick to one small handful of nuts each day. Choose unsalted seeds or nuts to cut back on excess sodium consumption. Tasty options include walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds. You can also try these foods in recipes like Banana Walnut Overnight Oatmeal.
7. Load up on leafy greens.
These veggies are especially effective at lowering cholesterol because they’re high in soluble fiber, which lowers LDL levels. Arugula, spinach, spring mix, romaine heart lettuce, kale, chard, and collard greens are all delish choices. Eat Slow Cooker Butternut Squash & Kale Stew or Mango & Arugula Salad with Cilantro Crema to green up your diet.
8. Color up your veggie menu.
Along with leafy greens, add more colorful vegetables to your crisper. Vegetables are a good source of low-calorie fiber, helping to lower cholesterol naturally. Sink your spoon into Raw Red Pepper Soup or enjoy Slow Cooker Southwestern Stuffed Peppers.
9. Dig whole grains.
Trade refined grain products, like white bread and pasta, for their whole grain cousins to lower cholesterol naturally. At SkinnyMs., we love quinoa because it offers whole grain power as well as protein to support lean muscle. Oatmeal is another whole grain staple for any heart-healthy menu. It contains beta-glucan, a substance that absorbs bad cholesterol. Greet the morning with Breakfast Quinoa or Refrigerator Oatmeal with Bananas & Berries.
10. Cut out refined sugar.
Diets high in refined sugar have been connected to unhealthy cholesterol levels. A published study found that consuming large amounts of added sugar more than tripled the risk for low levels of good cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Need help getting started? Try the 30-Day No Sugar Challenge.
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