6 Research-Backed Ways to Lowering Cholesterol Naturally + 7 Cholesterol-Reducing Power Foods



According to the American Heart Association, 94 million U.S. adults have total cholesterol levels higher than 200 mg/dL, and twenty-eight million adults in the United States have total cholesterol levels higher than 240 mg/dL. [1]

Even though high cholesterol can be hereditary, lifestyle factors are typically the root of the problem. Aside from increasing obvious advice like cardiovascular exercise and stopping smoking, the biggest impact is eliminating foods that raise cholesterol and incorporating foods that lower cholesterol as well. 

Read on to learn more about the 6 research-backed ways to lower cholesterol naturally. Plus, 7 cholesterol-reducing power foods.

6 Research-Backed Ways to Lowering Cholesterol Naturally

#1 Essential Vitamins, Minerals, and Key Nutrients

Foods that help lower cholesterol contain a dense amount of vitamins, minerals, and key nutrients. These foods help lower cholesterol by reducing inflammation and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. There are many foods that contain essential vitamins and minerals; however, some foods are better than others. For example, eating foods that are high in antioxidants can also help reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.

These essentials convert food into energy, support good cholesterol, immune system, impact our cellular performance, and more. Each nutrient on its own is powerful, but the real benefits come from the synergistic combination of all of them working together.

Vitamin D - Studies show Vitamin D supplementation has a beneficial effect on reducing serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels but not HDL cholesterol levels.

Calcium - New research shows calcium plays a key role in moderating the metabolism of cholesterol. [2]

Iron - Studies suggest naturally higher iron levels are associated with a lower risk of high cholesterol levels and also reduce the risk of arteries becoming restricted with a build-up of fatty substances. [3]

Potassium - Potassium keeps the heart healthy by lowering blood pressure, regulating heart rhythm, and reducing the risk of heart-related issues. 

Magnesium - Magnesium has been reported to decrease total serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and increase HDL cholesterol.

Niacin - Niacin, a B vitamin, has long been used to increase "good" HDL cholesterol that helps remove LDL "bad" cholesterol from your bloodstream.

Selenium - Researchers analyzed 19 studies that looked at the effects of selenium supplementation on human lipid serum levels, published between 1985 and 2019 suggest a link between selenium supplementation and decreased serum levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides. [4]

Zinc - Zinc supplementation has been shown to significantly reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. This may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and related morbidity and mortality. [5]

Folic Acid -  Low-dose folic acid supplementation has a beneficial effect on blood lipids through decreasing concentrations of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, showing a reduced risk of stroke, hypertension, and major cardiovascular diseases. [6]

Chromium - Chromium is thought to lower LDL cholesterol, including in one study that combined it with grape seed extract. In another study, people who were taking beta-blockers found that taking chromium raised their HDL cholesterol levels. [7]

B Vitamins (B1/B2/B5/B6/B12) - Studies indicate B-vitamins may help lower the amount of cholesterol your body makes, which lowers total cholesterol, and may also increase “good” HDL cholesterol.

Biotin - Biotin has been shown to reduce cholesterol in animal studies. Preliminary research has shown it can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, which can lead to heart disease and stroke when too high.

Copper - Copper deficiency increases cholesterol, which increases your risk for heart disease. Dietary copper or supplementation may help prevent this. [8]

Jerusalem Artichoke - The fiber found in Jerusalem artichoke may help lower cholesterol levels. It may also help reduce blood pressure and inflammation.

Vitamin E - Studies suggest Vitamin E can lower your cholesterol and help prevent plaque buildup in your arteries.

Cinnamon - Cinnamon extract has been shown to lower glucose, insulin, and cholesterol, and it shows promise for cholesterol-lowering in humans as well. [9]

Bacillus Coagulans - Bacillus coagulans probiotics lowered triglyceride, cholesterol, LDL, VLDL levels, and the atherogenic index in serum. [10]

Ferric Disodium EDTA - Studies show ferric disodium modestly reduced the risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes. [11]

Beta Carotene - Beta-Carotene supplementation resulted in significant decreases in cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose - Consumption of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), a soluble dietary fiber, lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in individuals with high cholesterol. [12] 

Glycerin - Moisture-retaining vegetable source that’s good for GI health and constipation.

DHA (algae) - Omega-3 fatty acid, reduces cardiovascular disease risk. Algal oil, which is rich in DHA might help lower blood fats called triglycerides. It may also increase "good" HDL cholesterol. 

Soy Lecithin - Soy lecithin helps regulate the cardiovascular system, aids in cognitive function, helps support the immune system, and is also an excellent source of choline.

#2 Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 and fatty acids help to support brain function and inflammation markers.

Some of the best foods for lowering cholesterol levels contain a high amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation in the body and increase the good cholesterol (HDL) direction. Many foods have omega-3 fatty acids, such as eggs, and certain types of fish. However, some types of fish are better than others for lowering cholesterol levels. For example, wild-caught salmon is higher in omega-3 fatty acids than farmed salmon. However, farmed salmon is still a good choice for lowering your cholesterol levels. Most snacks and fast food contain very little omega-3 fatty acids. Instead, most fast food contains a lot of omega-6 fatty acids, which are not beneficial to your health.

#3 Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber supports heart and circulatory health, good cholesterol, and helps to maintain healthy blood sugar.

Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels. Like other types of fiber, soluble fiber helps remove excess cholesterol from the body. Foods that contain a high amount of soluble fiber include oats, barley, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts and seeds. One serving of oatmeal contains about 6 grams of fiber, which is about 10% of your daily fiber needs. Soluble fiber helps reduce cholesterol levels by reducing the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in your body. Foods that contain a high amount of soluble fiber have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol by up in as little as 8 weeks.

#4 Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber supports weight and bowel management.

Insoluble fiber helps reduce cholesterol by increasing the amount of waste that is eliminated from the body. This helps reduce the amount of cholesterol that is reabsorbed in the intestine. Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as whole grains, nuts, and vegetables. You can also take insoluble fiber supplements, which are available over the counter. 

#5 Fermentable Fiber

Fermentable fiber stimulates good bacteria in the gut.

Foods that contain fermentable fiber are also good for lowering cholesterol levels. Foods such as onions, apples, and bananas contain a special type of fiber called fermentable fiber, which is beneficial for improving the health of your gut. Some types of fermentable fiber may also help reduce the amount of cholesterol that is reabsorbed in the intestines and increase the amount of cholesterol that is excreted in the feces, which reduces the buildup of cholesterol in the blood. However, the majority of people do not benefit from taking fiber supplements, which is why it is important to eat a diet that contains a high amount of fiber.

#6 Polyphenols

Foods that contain a high amount of polyphenol compounds are also good for reducing cholesterol levels. Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant found in certain fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation in the body, which reduces the risk of heart disease. Antioxidants also help reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Foods that contain the highest amount of polyphenols include berries, green tea.

7 Cholesterol-Reducing Power Foods 

As you can image, there are several cholesterol-reducing foods that have a positive impact on cholesterol levels. For the purpose of this article, we selected 7 of our favorite ones that are ingredient in Healright® Micronutrient Bars.

#1 Blueberries

Studies on the effect of eating blueberries on cholesterol and triglyceride levels have mostly been conducted on animals. The results noted that total cholesterol levels were lowered by at least 8 percent and LDL cholesterol was lowered by up to 15 percent after eight weeks. Additionally, blueberries are also a powerful antioxidant and help with high blood pressure.

#2 Rice bran

Rice bran is an insoluble fiber. It's an excellent source of poly- and monounsaturated fats (the “good fats”). Studies have shown that consuming these unsaturated fats can improve blood cholesterol levels, which can regulate blood sugar and decrease your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

Rice bran is rich in phytosterols and phytic acid. The fiber moves waste through the digestive tract, promotes fullness, and may help prevent the formation of blood clots.

Gluten-free rice bran is considered a low "glycemic index" food. The glycemic index (GI) refers to how quickly and how much a food raises a person's blood sugar after eating. Low-GI foods have a rating of 55 or less; the average GI for rice bran is 55.

#3 Oats

Speaking of fiber, the same goes for oats: Eating a hefty bowl of gluten-free oatmeal in the morning can help lower your cholesterol and keep you full and satisfied until lunch. Getting 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber (found in whole grains like oats) daily could help lower LDL cholesterol, per the National Lipid Association. Oat fiber is a soluble fiber, rich in beta-glucan, rich in phenolic compounds, and phytoestrogens that act as antioxidants, are good for bowel regularity and increase the diversity of gut microbiota.

#4 Whey Protein

Whey protein can help reduce markers of inflammation and lower your risk of negative health effects. Early studies also suggest that whey protein may help lower cholesterol.

#5 Red Grapes

Grapes have fiber, which makes them a good option to lower high cholesterol. In a study, people with high cholesterol who ate three cups of grapes a day for eight weeks had lower total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol. Red grape juice concentrate is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.

#6 Walnuts

Research shows that regular consumption of walnuts is tied to lower levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. “This is likely because they contain good unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, folate, vitamin E, and plant sterols. Although they are also high in calories, they don't seem to contribute to weight gain. [13]

#7 Dark Chocolate

Who says treats can’t also be good for you? In a British study, participants who sipped a cocoa drink twice daily for a month lowered their LDL and raised their HDL. This is probably due to high levels of flavonoids, compounds with an antioxidant effect. Stick with 70% dark chocolate or higher—it contains more antioxidants and less sugar than the milkier stuff. 

Healright: A Synergistic Blend of Vitamins, Minerals, Key Nutrients and Power Foods.

As you can see the list of vitamins, minerals, key nutrients and foods can be a lot to digest, literally. On top of that it can be overwhelming to seek out and consume all of these things on a regular basis, which as you know consistency is the key to making progress with your cholesterol goals. 

That said, incorporating these suggestions is doable and we encourage you to do so. Stocking up on all the foods and ingredients is the easy part. The difficult part is you'd have to eat all of these ingredients to get what is inside one clinically formulated Healright Micronutrient Bar. And you still wouldn't be able to be sure you're getting the right amounts of nutrients to get benefits based on Healright’s 15 years of research in this area.

Healright bars contains the right amount of nutrients and are formulated with added vitamins and minerals to optimize the benefits. If you’re seeking convenience, time-savings, and trackable results, consider Healright as part of your cholesterol-reduction plan.

Plus, Healright bars are more than a cholesterol solution. They are loaded with superfood ingredients that help get your gut healthy and your whole body feeling healthy too! If you're interested in learning more about Healright and having cholesterol in the normal range, click here to visit our healthy cholesterol page.

 

 

References: 

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31407792/ 
2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170726131742.htm
3. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190716193546.htm#
4. https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2019/08/02/Review-finds-link-between-selenium-and-some-cholesterol-lowering-benefits
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4523910/#
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3767584/
7. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/chromium#
8. https://openheart.bmj.com/content/5/2/e000784
9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5067830/
10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30368715/
11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4066975/
12. https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn20099#
13. https://www.health.harvard.edu/cholesterol/walnuts-can-lower-cholesterol