Everyday Foods Can Reduce Cholesterol

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Cholesterol, Food and Nutrition
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

You know that I don't believe cholesterol is  the serious heart risk factor that the drug companies make it out to be in their advertising. However, I also don't believe that it's healthy to let cholesterol go unchecked. As I've said before, research shows there is a healthy range for cholesterol. If you go too far above it or below it, you're asking for trouble.

Fortunately, reducing cholesterol is relatively easy and doesn't usually require medication. It just takes a little discipline, some patience, and a cholesterol lowering diet. To start, try the three nutritional recommendations below. If done daily, they will reduce your cholesterol level in about four weeks--even with no other changes to what you eat.

1) Eat a breakfast that includes a serving of oat bran, raisin bran, shredded wheat, or bran flakes with a fresh fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, peaches, etc. Add two tablespoons of organic flaxseed, grind it up in a coffee grinder, and serve with 6-9 oz. of organic skim or 1% milk.

2) Eat one pear or one apple, and one medium-sized carrot.

3) For a snack, or as a dessert with any meal, eat one half of a grapefruit, including all of the white pulp. This is loaded with pectin, a soluble fiber. Please note, however, that there's a very important warning that goes along with this recommendation. You should only eat grapefruit (or drink grapefruit juice) after talking with your doctor to confirm that none of the medications you're taking will interact with it. The effects of many cardiovascular drugs, including statins, can be intensified when combined with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. This is because grapefruit affects enzyme systems in the liver and increases the amount of the drugs in your blood. So, if you're taking one of these drugs, I don't advise that you eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice. Just stick with the first two recommendations instead.

By eating these foods every day, you'll get 15-20 grams of fiber, which will help you achieve healthy cholesterol levels and bring you many other health benefits.

For more information on healthy heart nutrition, visit www.drsinatra.com.

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