Don’t panic if you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol. Use these tips and tricks to reduce your cholesterol and get back on track.

Making the change to a healthful diet is the first step in lowering cholesterol.

Most important: Limit the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet.

Foods to avoid or limit include:

  • Whole milk, cream, and ice cream
  • Butter, egg yolks, and cheese-and foods made with them
  • Organ meats, such as liver, sweetbreads, and kidney
  • High-fat processed meats, such as sausage, bologna, salami, and hot dogs
  • Fatty meats that aren’t trimmed
  • Duck and goose meat (raised for market)
  • Baked goods made with egg yolks and saturated fats
  • Fried foods
  • Saturated fats, including coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil
  • Solid fats, such as shortening, partially hydrogenated margarine, and lard

Just as some foods increase cholesterol, others help lower it. Foods you should eat include:

  • Fruits and vegetables: 8-10 daily servings, especially high-fiber items such as beans and peas
  • “Good fat” fish (i.e. salmon): 2 or more servings per week
  • Whole grains: 6 or more daily servings
  • Nuts and seeds: 4-5 servings per week
  • Nonfat and low-fat dairy: 2-3 daily servings
  • Lean meat and poultry without skin: 5-6 ounces daily
  • Unsaturated vegetable oils: including canola, corn, olive, safflower, and soybean oils (but limit the amount of margarines and spreads made from them)

Load Up on Fiber

Soluble fiber helps lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by reducing its absorption in the intestines.

Soluble fiber can be found in:

  • oats
  • barley
  • rye
  • beans
  • peas
  • apples
  • prunes
  • berries
  • fiber supplements

Add Flaxseed to Your Diet

  • Add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to your hot or cold breakfast cereal.
  • Add a teaspoon of ground flaxseed to mayonnaise or mustard when making a sandwich.
  • Mix a tablespoon of ground flaxseed into an 8-ounce container of yogurt.
  • Bake ground flaxseed into cookies, muffins, breads, and other baked goods.