A condition that can lead to serious illness such as a stroke or heart disease, high cholesterol describes the situation where an individual has high levels of a certain type of cholesterol, called LDL (low-density lipoprotein). Although cholesterol has a role to play in keeping your body healthy, too much of this so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol can lead to clogged arteries and bad blood flow. Lowering high cholesterol is largely down to lifestyle change, and some foods can help.

We’ve put together a run down of the three foods that are most commonly recommended for lowering cholesterol, helping you to understand what dietary change is necessary for you.

High Cholesterol Can Be Reduced With The Right Diet

On the whole, the kind of food that is recommended by doctors to reduce cholesterol does not actively cause cholesterol levels to drop. Instead, many of these foods make good alternatives to foods that are high in saturated fats such as red meat, hard cheese, biscuits and cakes.

The first and most commonly recommended food for reducing high cholesterol is fish, including sardines and salmon. Instinctively, some people may assume that these oily foods will only make the condition worse. However, the fats and oils contained in these fish are much better for the body than the fats contained in, for example, red meat. Secondly, in a similar way, nuts and seeds are a good choice for lowering high cholesterol, since they make a healthier alternative to snacking on unhealthy foods.

Finally, vegetables are an important element of a healthy diet and a crucial tool for reducing cholesterol build up. A good rule of thumb is to eat lots of greens, including leeks, spinach, cabbage and celery. The substances in these foods seem to have a good impact upon cholesterol, and also help to keep your body in an overall more healthy condition.

High Cholesterol Is Best Treated With Lifestyle Change and Medical Help

Food only represents one step in lowering your cholesterol. For more help, read our other article, How To Lower Cholesterol in 6 Easy Steps. Of course, as well as changing your behaviour, medical assistance is available in the form of prescription medication. Statins such as simvastatin  and lipitor  reduce your cholesterol production, and are highly effective in the majority of cases. By considering changes in your eating habits, activity levels and general health – and taking necessary medicines – you can start to reduce your high cholesterol today.