The 3 Best Fruits & Vegetables to Help Lower Cholesterol, According to a Cardiologist
Here’s what a cardiologist recommends to his patients.
It’s no surprise that the foods you eat can help lower cholesterol, and healthy choices like fruits and vegetables are fresh staples in a healthy eating pattern. But if you’re unsure of where to start and what produce will specifically help manage cholesterol, we have some answers for you.
“Fruits and vegetables are naturally cholesterol-free and low in fat, making them an important part of managing high cholesterol,” cardiologist David Sabgir, M.D., tells EatingWell. “While I do typically recommend increasing your overall intake of fruits and vegetables, since many of us are not meeting our recommended daily intake, there are a few specific foods that I like to recommend to my patients.” Here’s what the doctor suggests.
Dark Leafy Greens
There are so many reasons to love leafy green vegetables, and this includes their health benefits.
“Dark leafy greens include spinach, kale, collard greens and more,” the cardiologist explains. “They contain lutein and other carotenoids that may lower risk of heart disease and reduce cholesterol levels.”
Enjoy them in a salad like this Strawberry Spinach Salad with Avocado & Walnuts, or blend them up in a smoothie with mango or bananas for a nutritious morning fix.
For a hearty, healthy-fat option, you can’t go wrong with the versatile avocado.
“Avocados are effectively the only fruit that contains monounsaturated fat, with 5 grams per one-third of a medium avocado,” Sabgir states. “This can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in your blood, which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Not to mention, they are free of sugar and sodium.”
You can enjoy avocados on toast for breakfast, in a tuna salad for lunch or as an Avocado Pesto sauce with whole-wheat pasta for dinner.
It’s citrus season, and not only are the fruits a sweet bite of deliciousness, but they’re also healthy choices for managing your cholesterol.
“Citrus fruits like oranges contain pectin, which may help lower cholesterol levels,” the doctor notes. “Pectin is a type of soluble fiber that encourages your body to reduce its LDL cholesterol.”
Combine citrus with leafy greens by making one of our delicious salads, from our Citrus Kale Salad to our Beet, Mandarin & Farro Salad.