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Cholesterol-lowering foods

Lowering cholesterol is no longer just about cutting out bad foods. Adding certain foods to your diet can actually help lower cholesterol levels, according to Harvard Medical School.

The October Harvard Heart Letter says some foods lower cholesterol levels by delivering soluble fiber, which binds to cholesterol in the digestive system and carries it out of the body. Other foods have polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. Others contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.

Foods they suggest include:

• oats, barley and other whole grains

beans, eggplant and okra


• vegetable oils

• apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits

• foods fortified with sterols and stanols such as low-fat milk, orange juice, and bread.

Soybeans and soy food products

Fatty fish

You can also lower your cholesterol with supplements, such as these suggested by the Mayo Clinic:

• Artichoke extract (capsule or liquid)

• Beta-sitosterol (found in both oral supplements and some margarines)

• Blond psyllium (found in seed husk products like metamucil)

• Fish oil (capsule or liquid)

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