Foods that Lower Cholesterol

The foods that lower cholesterol form the foundation for heart disease prevention & treatment.  Relying solely on prescription drugs is a dangerous strategy that could leave you at risk. 

Eating the right foods is often the key step to reaching your target cholesterol level.  I place foods that lower cholesterol into 3 categories: binders, inhibitors, and regulators.


Binders are foods that stop the intestinal absorption of cholesterol into your body.  Soluble fiber and phytosterols form large clumps of cholesterol that can't pass through the lining of your gut and enter your bloodstream:

1. Food Sources of Soluble Fiber 

  • Oat/Oat bran

  • Dried beans and peas

  • Nuts

  • Barley

  • Flax seed

  • Fruits such as oranges and apples

  • Vegetables such as carrots

  • Psyllium husk

2. Foods Rich in Phytosterols

  • Sesame seeds

  • Corn

  • Soybeans

  • Unrefined vegetable oils

  • Whole grains

  • Legumes (alfalfa, peas, beans, lentils)


Inhibitors are foods that prevent the liver from making cholesterol.  Unlike statin prescription drugs, inhibitors come from natural food sources and aren't dangerous:

1. Foods Rich in Monacolins

  • Chinese Red Yeast Rice (mostly available in supplement form)

2. Foods Rich in Flavonoids

  • Grapefruit

  • Lemons/Limes

  • Tangerines

  • Pomegranate

  • All berries


Regulators are foods that lower cholesterol by maintaining the cholesterol cycle.  Cholesterol normally cycles back and forth between the liver and the rest of the body.  Vitamin C and the trace mineral copper help to keep the cycle going and prevent the build-up of cholesterol:

1. Foods Rich in Vitamin C

  • Sweet red pepper 

  • Strawberries 

  • Oranges

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Broccoli

  • Collard greens

  • Grapefruit

  • Cantaloupe

  • Cabbage

  • Tomato

2. Foods Rich in Copper

  • Oysters

  • Shellfish

  • Whole grains

  • Beans

  • Potatoes

  • Organ meats

Foods that lower cholesterol provide the foundation for heart disease prevention and treatment.  If you can't reach your target cholesterol level, you only have two choices: take more drugs or eat the right foods. 

What are you going to do?

Life Extension offers the highest quality supplements for managing cholesterol levels.


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