10 Alkaline Foods that Help Lower Cholesterol

by: Cassandra Stirling

Cholesterol is a like a double edge sword.  It is necessary for every cell in your body to function properly, however too much of it can stick to the walls of your arteries. This results in the formation of a plaque which narrows, and strickens the blood vessels (atherosclerosis), impairing blood flow and increasing blood pressure.  This also causes the blood to thicken.  If a clot forms in one of these narrowed arteries, a stroke or heart attack may result.  

Most people turn to cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins to fix the problem, however that can bring on another wide range of problems including the possibility of cholesterol levels becoming too low.  There are other options besides cholesterol lowering drugs.  Cholesterol can be lowered by making some simple lifestyle changes, starting with the foods you eat.  Talk a look at these ten cholesterol lowering foods and super foods.

  1. Chia seeds have been found to lower LDL and total cholesterol levels and decrease inflammation.  This is due to the high amount of omega 3 fatty acids that they contain and their high soluble and insoluble fiber content.  Chia seeds are also a great source of magnesium and calcium which among other things helps to promotes a healthy heart.  Whole or ground flax seeds have similar benefits but just be sure to freshly grind them before use to prevent oxidation of the omega 3 fatty acids.  Krill oil is an excellent animal source of omega 3 fatty acids.

  2. Almonds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart.  Studies also show that they reduce total cholesterol and LDL and raise good HDL.  Just make sure they are raw nuts and not coated with sugars, seasonings or processed salt.   Walnuts or walnut butter are also good for reducing cholesterol although they are slightly acidic. They are rich in alpha linolenic acid, which have been reported to lower total cholesterol and triglycerides in people with high cholesterol levels. 

  3. Garlic is a powerful food that time and time again has demonstrated its ability to lower LDL levels and increase HDL levels.  Remember that raw garlic is best, but you can still benefit from the cooking it.  You can also try taking a garlic supplement.  Just make sure that it is not the odorless kind.  Odorless garlic has all the beneficial properties removed.

  4. Apples are rich in pectin and soluble fiber and research has shown that soluble fiber slows digestion, and decreases total cholesterol and LDL.  Apples are also packed with antioxidants and have been shown to reduce inflammation.  You can also get a good dose of insoluble fiber by taking psyllium husk supplement.

  5. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid which studies show reduces LDL and total cholesterol while increasing HDL. Use it in place of cheese, mayo or other processed spreads.

  6. Blueberries contain an antioxidant, known as pterostilbene, which is thought to be the reason why blueberries lower cholesterol as effectively as drugs without the side effects.   Another alternative to eating blueberries is taking a supplement called resveratrol, which also contains pterostilbene and has the same cholesterol lowering effects.

  7. Dark Leafy Greens. According to many studies eating four or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day may significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels.  Dark leafy greens like kale, collards, and spinach are great diet additions.  Green powder super-foods are also a good alternative.

  8. Shitake mushrooms contain an active compound called eritadenine that animal studies have shown may reduce serum cholesterol levels by blocking the way cholesterol is absorbed into the bloodstream.

  9. Aloe vera gel.  When this natural antioxidant is ingested, it improves the quality of the blood and helps rebalance the blood chemistry in a way that lowers cholesterol and total triglycerides.  You can use fresh aloe vera by filleting the leaf and then adding the gel to a blended smoothie or take it in gel form, or dried powdered form.

  1. Pumpkin Seed Oil has LDL lowering effects and HDL increasing effects that are most likely due to its antioxidant and essential fatty acid content.  Pumpkin seed oil also been shown to reduce side effects when taken with cholesterol lowering drugs.

Other recommendations are avoiding corn oil, trans-fats, and hydrogenated oils, fat substitutes and processed vegetable oils.  Instead use coconut oil or olive oil.  Eliminate processed foods (especially sugar) and try to eat more fresh raw foods.  Last but not least, reduce your stress levels and stay active.  Be sure to talk to your doctor before stopping or weaning off cholesterol-lowering medication and taking supplements that may have contraindications to your medication.

These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.  The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.