Heart Healthy Foods

We all know some foods won’t be winning any health awards (cue the bacon lovers sighing). But, there are ingredients that can actually both lower our cholesterol and improve our overall well-being. Even if you’ve already been diagnosed with high cholesterol you can get things under control with diet changes alone—without statins or other meds. “Simply adding more plant-based foods to your day will lower your cholesterol while adding an abundance of heart-healthy nutrients to your diet, says Dr. Robert Ostfeld, cardiologist and director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Heart & Vascular Care. Eat these five foods for a healthier heart.
Heart Healty, Avocado, Super Foods
Avocado: High in monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber and phytosterols, avocados are heart miracle workers. A new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found eating one avocado daily can lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by 13 points.

Oats: Oats are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and improve heart health. “Soluble fiber binds to cholesterol compounds in our digestive tract, preventing them from being absorbed,” says Geralyn Plomitallo MS, RD, Clinical Nutrition Manager at White Plains Hospital.

Beans: Beans are extremely high in soluble fiber and eating one serving of beans a day (or chickpeas, lentils or peas) can lower your LDL ‘bad cholesterol’ by 5 percent and significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, according to a recent study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Heart Healty, Super Foods, Walnuts
Walnuts: “Nuts contain plant sterols which may help prevent the absorption of cholesterol, leading to less cholesterol getting into our bodies,” says Ostfeld. They are also high in heart-healthy omega-3s. And when the American Chemical Society, a national organization of chemists and scientists, ranked nuts in terms of their heart health, they found that walnuts came out on top. Walnuts contain almost twice the amount of antioxidants as other nuts.

Olive Oil: This staple of the heart-healthy Mediterranean Diet is bursting with polyphenols (powerful antioxidants). A recent study found that it protects and enhances HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) by making it more stable.

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