Cholesterol Lowering Food
Soluble fiber is a naturally occurring substance found in some fruits, vegetables, and grains. Research scientists believe that when fiber is digested it sticks to cholesterol and prevents it from being absorbed. Examples of foods high in soluble fiber that can reduce cholesterol include:
- Oat bran.
Other high-fiber foods include:
- Kidney beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Baked beans
Clinical studies show that a heart-healthy diet (low in saturated fat and cholesterol; high in fruits, vegetables, and grain products that contain soluble fiber) can lower blood cholesterol. In these studies, cholesterol levels dropped between 0.5 percent and 2 percent for every gram of soluble fiber eaten per day.
One of the easiest ways to get soluble fiber into your diet is to eat bran cereals for breakfast. Some high-fiber, cholesterol lowering cereals include:
- Oatmeal (which has 1.6 grams of fiber in ¾ cup of cooked cereal)
- Raisin bran
- Oat bran.
Soy protein foods, which are made from soybeans, were once believed to be cholesterol lowering food by lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol without lowering "good" HDL cholesterol. However, based on a recent analysis of studies, the American Heart Association issued a statement saying that the heart-healthy benefits of soy protein are minimal at best. Even with a large intake of soy protein, there was little effect on LDL cholesterol levels and no effect on HDL levels.
So should you give up your soy? Not if you like soy products. Soy protein will not harm your health, and substituting soy protein, such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy nuts, soy milk, soy burgers, soy cheese, and soy flour, for animal protein continues to be a wise food choice because of its high content of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and low content of saturated fat.