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Salmon is a premiere source of omega-3 fatty acids, a fat shown to have a positive effect on HDL (good) cholesterol. The body can't produce these healthy fats, so it's essential to include them in your diet. Try this salmon dish to get your omega-3s.
Flaxseed can help reduce total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Consume flaxseed by mixing ground flaxseed into cookie batter or breakfast cereal. Or enjoy it in these tasty breadsticks, which bake in your oven in 15 minutes.
Delicious avocados contain a good dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They also contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help lower cholesterol. Get your avocado fix with these tasty nacho appetizers.
Barley is rich in soluble fiber, which helps prevent the cholesterol in the foods you eat from being absorbed into your bloodstream. Enjoy some barley in these Barley Tomato Slices, which use basic ingredients for a not-so-basic take on dinner.
The antioxidants in cranberries have been shown in a few studies to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, while promoting HDL (good) cholesterol. Use fresh cranberries to bake this delicious dessert crisp.
Olive oil's high level of monounsaturated fat may help lower blood cholesterol. Also, some antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil can boost HDL (good) cholesterol and may lower triglycerides. Bake this easy pasta dish using 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
Whole grains, such as whole grain rice, have been shown to lower triglycerides. In addition, if you eat rice, breads, pastas, rolls, and cereals with 100 percent whole grain rice instead of refined flour, you can really help lower your cholesterol and heart disease risk. Get started with the brown rice in these delicious stuffed peppers.
When flavonoid-rich dark chocolate is included in a healthy diet, it can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and even improve your blood pressure. Be careful not to overindulge, as chocolate still has not-so-good-for-you sugar, calories, and fat. Try this healthful recipe, featuring a taste of dark chocolate wrapped around sweet apples.
Pomegranates are a seedy fruit that may lower cholesterol and improve blood flow to the heart, thanks to their antioxidants. Use pomegranate juice to make this alcoholic party drink.
Studies suggest the nutrients in oranges and other citrus fruits help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Oranges are also bursting with vitamin C and other antioxidants that help slow atherosclerosis. Start juicing your diet with the orange juice and citrus fruit sections found in these tasty trifles.
The soluble fiber found in beans helps lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol as well as the risk of cardiovascular disease. Enjoy red kidney beans in these vegetarian burgers.
One serving of oats has 2 grams of soluble fiber; according to the Mayo Clinic, 10 grams or more of soluble fiber daily decreases your total and LDL (bad) cholesterol. This popular cookie recipe just happens to be loaded with heart-healthy oats.
Pears are high in beneficial plant flavonoids, and eating pears with their skin gives you an excellent source of soluble fiber to help lower your cholesterol. Enjoy fresh pears in this light salad with tangy onions.
Apples are a good source of soluble fiber and phytostanols -- both have been shown to reduce cholesterol. Chop three apples to make this super-flavorful apple-sage cracker topper.
According to Julia Zumpano, R.D., at the Cleveland Clinic, soy is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and is an easy way to get fiber, which can lower your cholesterol. To reap the most cardiovascular benefit, substitute soy for animal products, so enjoy this soy burger instead of a beef burger.
Eating kiwifruit may help lower your triglycerides, and it contains as much potassium as a banana -- a valuable nutrient for lowering your blood pressure. Unsure of how to add kiwifruit to your recipes? Try this Kiwi Peach Cobbler dessert.
Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (shown to lower cholesterol), and they provide a nice alternative for getting omega-3 when you don't care for fatty fish, such as salmon. In this dish, we tossed walnuts in this fruit-filled spinach salad.
Vitamin E, an antioxidant thought to reduce the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, is abundant in heart-healthy apricots. Enjoy baked apricots in this apricot and cherry pie.
Berries have been shown to boost HDL (good) cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Berries are also bursting with beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You pick the berries in this dessert -- chose from raspberries, blackberries, and/or boysenberries.
The phytochemicals in garlic may lower cholesterol, and they're a simple addition to flavor any meal. Phytochemicals help protect against disease and have been shown to boost immunity. Get your daily fix of garlic with this delicious (and inexpensive) garlic chicken dinner.
Grapefruits contain flavonoids, which promote heart health by lowering cholesterol and relaxing and dilating arteries. Don't like grapefruits tart? This recipe for Baked Grapefruit Halves features a topping of sweet fruits and a touch of cinnamon and brown sugar.
Add cholesterol-lowering vitamin E to your day with papayas, a bright yellow fruit that also contains magnesium and potassium, which have been shown to lower blood pressure. Eat half a papaya with a squirt of lime juice for breakfast, or chop up some papaya to make the zippy fresh salsa in this chicken dinner.
Onions contain phytochemicals, which are plant chemicals that may lower cholesterol. Need a change from sliced onions in your main dish? Try them as a pizza topper in these caramelized onion pizzas.
Fatty fish, such as tuna, can help lower your cholesterol. Tuna contains omega-3 fatty acids, known to have a positive effect on your cholesterol. Several clinical trials have shown that omega-3 reduces the risk of a heart attack by 19-45 percent. Enjoy tuna for dinner in this Sicilian tuna recipe.
Blueberries get their rich color from phytochemicals, plant substances that contain cholesterol-lowering antioxidants. Enjoy layers of blueberries in this light fruit parfait.