10 Best Foods to Lower Cholesterol and Blood Pressure

One of the major reasons for high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure is unhealthy eating. There are many foods which can cause elevated cholesterol levels and can increase your blood pressure. Good thing is you can lower cholesterol and blood pressure by eating the right foods. LDL is the bad cholesterol. It can clog the blood vessels and is harmful for your body. To control your cholesterol levels cut back on the foods containing high amounts of LDL.

Foods to Lower Cholesterol and Blood Pressure

Here are a few foods which you can have to lower the bad cholesterol levels in your blood:

1.      Oatmeal, Oat Bran and High-Fiber Foods


Oatmeal has a lot of soluble fiber. This soluble fiber is capable of reducing the LDL or bad cholesterol levels. Beans, barley, apples, pears and prunes are also good sources of soluble fiber and are helpful to reduce cholesterol levels.

The soluble fiber decreases the absorption of cholesterol from intestines. To lower cholesterol levels significantly you should consume five to ten grams of soluble fiber every day. One serving of oatmeal (1½ cups) contains six grams of it and you can add in some fruit for extra flavor and fiber. Oat bran and cereal can also be helpful.

2.      Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

omega three fatty acids

Omega three fatty acids and fish are the ideal foods to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. These are highly beneficial for people with heart disease and can reduce the risk of clots formation and sudden death.

It is recommended to eat at least two servings of fish per week and the healthiest varieties for your heart are:

  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Herring
  • Halibut
  • Tuna

To get maximum benefit use minimum amount of oil while cooking fish. It is better to grill or bake it.

If you do not like fish you can still get good amounts of omega three fatty acids from flaxseed or canola oil or can take supplements. Before taking any omega three supplements talk to your doctor. These are good for health but the supplements do not have other nutrients like selenium which is present in fish.

3.      Foods with Added Plant Sterols or Stanols

fortified orange juice

Sterols or stanols in many plants can reduce the absorption of cholesterol and are helpful to reduce blood cholesterol levels. There are many food items available which are fortified with these substances, such as yogurt based drinks and orange juice.

To reduce blood cholesterol significantly, 2 grams of sterol per day is required which can be found in 8 ounces of fortified orange juice. The sterols lower the LDL levels but have no effect on HDL or triglyceride levels. It is not yet confirmed whether they reduce the risk of heart diseases or stroke, but since they reduce the cholesterol level, these are beneficial.

4.      Fruits

Fruits are a rich source of healthy fiber and they also contain many nutrients and vitamins. All these qualities make them an ideal choice for a healthy heart. The potassium and magnesium in fruits help to lower the blood pressure. For maximum benefit, have at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables per day. You can have fruit as a dessert or healthy snack. One serving of fruit is a medium sized piece of fresh fruit like apple or half cup of fruit juice. A quarter cup of dried fruit is equivalent to one portion of fresh fruit.

5.      Yogurt

Low fat dairy products are good for health and can help to regulate blood pressure. Three servings of no fat or low fat dairy products per day are recommended. Skimmed milk, low fat yogurt and cheese are packed with goodness. One serving is equal to a cup of skimmed milk or yogurt or 1 ½ cup ounce of low fat cheese.

6.      Potassium

potassium rich foods

Looking for foods to lower cholesterol and blood pressure? Include more potassium rich foods in your diet. Potassium is extremely important to regulate the blood pressure and having potassium rich foods daily can improve your health. Potatoes, bananas, avocado, spinach and dates are rich sources of potassium. At least 4700 mg of potassium per day is required by the body and that amount can be easily obtained by eating the right foods.

7.      Red Wine

red wine

Red wine can reduce LDL levels and having it in moderation can cut back your risk of heart disease. It is made from red grapes which contain a lot of fiber and antioxidants and its ability to reduce LDL levels is scientifically proven. Be careful and do not have it in excess.

8.      Nuts


Nuts contain good fats and if you are craving for a quick snack, grab a handful of nuts instead of a muffin. Walnuts, almonds and cashew nuts are known to reduce cholesterol levels. They contain a lot of good fats. They are also rich in calories so be careful about how much you eat every day.

9.      Beans


Beans are great for heart health and having half cup of cooked beans per day can significantly lower the blood cholesterol levels. They have a lot of fiber and other nutrients as well. All verities of beans are healthy and they taste great too.

10.  Garlic


Garlic is packed with health boosting substances. Having two to four cloves of garlic every day can lower your cholesterol levels and blood pressure significantly. It can also prevent infection and reduce the chances of clot formation and clogging of arteries.

Foods to Avoid

You can have certain foods to lower cholesterol and blood pressure but it is also necessary to avoid some food items to keep them under control.

  • Limit your intake of saturated fats like lard, butter, palm oil and bacon drippings. Use healthier alternatives like olive oil, canola oil or coconut oil.
  • Stay away from trans fats. These are found in some margarines, crackers and fast food.
  • Meat can have lots of unhealthy fats. Organ meat and processed meat are best to be avoided if your cholesterol levels or blood pressure is on the higher side. Limit your intake of corned beef, ground beef, sausages and bacon. Instead of red meat, eat fish, chicken or turkey.
  • It is better to limit the intake of meat and not exceed 140 grams of it per day.
  • Do not eat egg yolks.
  • Biscuits, cakes, muffins and other snacks have high levels of fat, salt and sugar. Swap them with healthier options like fruit or nuts.
  • Instead of smothering the bread with butter, drizzle some olive oil on it.
  • Fast foods like burgers, pizza, and fried chicken have very high levels of bad fats and should be avoided.
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