1. Fish and omega-3 fatty acids
Eating fatty fish or taking an Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplement can be heart-healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. It also benefits people who have already had heart attaches by reducing the risk of sudden death. It is recommended that you eat at least two servings of fish a week. The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are in Salmon, Mackerel, Lake Trout, Halibut, Herring, Sardines, and Albacore Tuna
2. High-fiber foods
Soluble fiber helps reduce “bad” cholesterol. It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol absorbed into your bloodstream. It is recommended that you shoot for 5 to 10 grams or more of soluble fiber a day to help decreases your total and “bad” cholesterol. Soluble fiber can be found in foods such as beans, certain fruits, oatmeal, oat bran and barley.
Walnuts, almonds and other nuts can reduce blood cholesterol. Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can help keep blood vessels healthy. The FDA recommends eating about a handful a day of nuts as it may reduce your risk of heart disease. It is better to eat them without extra salt of sugar coatings.
4. Olive oil
Olive oil contains a powerful mix of antioxidants that can lower your “bad” cholesterol but leave your “good” cholesterol intact. The FDA recommends using replacing other fats in your diet with 2 tablespoons per day of olive oil. Try to choose extra-virgin olive oil as it is less process and contains more antioxidants.
5. Foods fortified with plant sterols and stanols
Foods are now being fortified with sterols and stanols. Sterols and stanols are substances found in plants that help block cholesterol absorption. Fortified foods include margarines, orange juice, and yogurt drinks. They can help reduce “bad” cholesterol by 10 percent or more. It is recommended that you get at least 2 grams (or two 8-ounce servings of plant sterol-fortified orange juice per day).