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Lower your cholesterol by 30 percent with these six foods

Bookmark and Share Lowering you cholesterol by up to 30 percent is as easy as adding these six foods.

Nuts
Eat a handful of nuts each day. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, peanuts and pecans can not only reduce cholesterol, but also blood sugar and insulin. Nuts are also full of fiber and antioxidants.

Fiber-rich foods
Get plenty of fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fiber acts like a sponge that absorbs bad cholesterol. If you find it hard to get your fiber through food, fiber supplements work just as well.

Soy
Instead of eating meat, replace some of it with soy. Try a veggie burger instead of a hamburger or drink soy milk instead of cow's milk. Also, add some edamame, Japanese baby soy beans, to your favorite dishes.

Plant stanol spreads
These are probably not something you hear about every day, but they do help lower your cholesterol. Plant stanol spreads can be used instead of butter or margarine and can be found in the supermarket near these items. Aim for about four grams a day.

Fish
Eat fatty fish like mackerel, trout, herring, albacore tuna and salmon, which contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to lowering cholesterol, research shows that omega-3 fatty acids also lower blood pressure and the risk of blood clots. If you don't like fish, take an omega-3 or fish oil supplement.

Olive oil
Olive oil contains a powerful mix of antioxidants that help lower cholesterol. Try to stick to extra-virgin olive oil. This type of oil is processed the least and contains more heart-healthy antioxidants.

Remember, not everyone can lower their cholesterol level through diet alone. But, the more you do the greater effect it will have. That's why it's important to see your physician on a regular basis, eat well and exercise. By doing so, you'll be on your way to lower cholesterol and a healthy life.

To find a Virtua physician that can help you lower your cholesterol or to make an appointment with a Virtua dietician, click here or call 1-888-Virtua-3.