Some foods can help lower cholesterol

Sept. 22, 2012 at 12:53 AM

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 22 (UPI) -- People trying to lower cholesterol levels should avoid trans-fat, partially hydrogenated oil and fried food, a U.S. food expert suggests.

"Reading all food labels is essential, even if the nutrition facts states 0 trans fats, remember the regulation allows a half-a-gram of fat or less to be listed on the label as '0,'" said Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of supermarketguru.com.

"Eat soluble fiber. Fiber, specifically soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol by binding with it in the digestive tract and helping it pass through the body. Choose beans and lentils, apples, oats, barley, carrots and freshly ground flaxseed."

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day for a healthy adult, but some foods can help lower cholesterol levels.

Lempert also suggested:

-- Cooking with fresh garlic. It has shown to help lower cholesterol levels.

-- Drinking green tea. The antioxidants in green tea help lower cholesterol and prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein, the "bad," cholesterol.

-- Snack on almonds. Studies showed they can lower LDL cholesterol as well as blood sugar levels.

It is also recommended to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day and reduce excess weight for those with waist size more than 40 inches for men; more than 35 inches for women, Lempert added.

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