We found it rather disconcerting that almost one third of Americans have cholesterol levels that are too high.
You can never be too cautious when it comes to changing your lifestyle to protect your heart functioning.
We did extensive research to find which foods promote heart health and longevity while helping to keep your cholesterol levels in normal range.
We also recommend you checkout one of our prior articles "The Secret Foods of the Mediterranean that help you live longer" which emphasizes the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.
Here are the Top 9 Foods for Cholesterol Management:
1. Oats: It is well known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is where you get the majority of your fuel for the day. Beta-Glucan, a substance in oats, helps absorb and secrete bad cholesterol. We recommend substituting bacon or ham for this low-fat option.
2. Red Wine: This will come as a pleasant surprise for some people. There might actually be some validity to the saying "A glass of red wine a day, keeps the doctor away." Turns out, red grapes in wine have properties that can reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels.
3. Salmon & Fatty Fish: Omega-3 Fatty acids are an essential asset to reducing cholesterol and protecting your heart. Replacing saturated fats with omega-3s like those found in salmon, sardines, and herring can raise good cholesterol as much as 4%. 
4. Beans: Beans are a very strong source of soluble fiber. They are also easy to digest and provide cholesterol reducing properties.
5. Nuts: Nuts are an amazing source of healthy fat and protein. Eating two ounces of nuts per day can lower your bad cholesterol levels and protect your heart. 
6. Avocados: Avocados are an amazing source of monosaturated fatty acids or healthy fats. They are rich in nutrients that are really healthy for your heart functioning. We recommend adding avocado slices to any sandwich or making a healthy guacamole recipe. They have become a cornerstone of the heavily touted Mediterranean Diet.
7. Olive Oil: Another incredible source of monosaturated fats is olive oil. Olive Oil has been consumed by people of the Mediterranean area for centuries and they have liven longer average lives.
About 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil a day in place of other fats in your diet to get its heart-healthy benefits. Glazing your vegetables with olive oil will also help increase their absorption.
8. Whey Protein: Whey protein is rated as the most healthy form of dairy. Studies show that whey protein can reduce LDL cholesterol levels and provide a major source of protein, that is vital for brain health and energy production. 
9. Dark Chocolate: It's important to find snacks that are heart-friendly but also allow you to indulge a little. Dark Chocolate is the perfect pairing for some red wine and has a host of benefits. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, a particular antioxidant that can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels. We recommend moderation in enjoying dark chocolate because it does contain some sugar.
10. Green Tea: Green tea is really a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition. Green tea is enriched with a wealth of antioxidants that supports your immune system, boosts brain function and helps to manage cholesterol levels. 
What Not to Eat:
Finding foods that reduce your cholesterol can be more complex than just focus on the cholesterol dosage on a nutrition label. The most important thing is to stay away from processed foods. Foods that are high in trans fats, saturated fats, or sodium may lead to a spike in cholesterol. We'd recommend reducing your intake of red meat, especially the type that's processed. 
1. “Here's How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally With Food.” Prevention, Prevention, 30 Aug. 2017, www.prevention.com/health/how-to-lower-cholesterol-naturally/slide/3.
2. Publications, Harvard Health. “11 Foods That Lower Cholesterol.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/11-foods-that-lower-cholesterol.
3. “Top Foods to Help Lower Your Cholesterol.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 12 June 2015, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/cholesterol/art-20045192?pg=2.
4. “LDL Pictures: Lowering Bad Cholesterol With Food.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/ss/slideshow-cholesterol-lowering-foods.
5. Marie Louise Brumit. “The Best Foods to Lower Cholesterol.” The FH Foundation, 14 Jan. 2016, thefhfoundation.org/best-foods-lower-cholesterol?gclid=CLPJzcuWk9YCFQSHswodJbAPOg.
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