12 foods that lower cholesterol naturally

It’s easy to eat your way to an alarmingly high cholesterol level. The reverse is true, too — changing what you eat can lower your cholesterol and improve the armada of fats floating through your bloodstream. Doing this requires a two-pronged strategy: Add foods that lower LDL, the harmful cholesterol-carrying particle that contributes to artery-clogging atherosclerosis. At the same time, cut back on foods that boost LDL. Without that step, you are engaging in a holding action instead of a steady — and tasty — victory. Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol. These are the 12 foods that lower cholesterol naturally.

12. Spinach (research suggests that just ½ cup of a lutein-rich food daily also guards against heart attacks by helping artery walls "shrug off" cholesterol invaders that cause clogging)

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