High cholesterol levels can be seriously disturbing. Controlling it is, however, crucial for your health as you don’t want such a risk factor to up the odds of developing cardiovascular concerns.

In this regard, here are five foods that you can have to bring down your cholesterol levels:

1. Beans

Research points out that there is less awareness concerning the role that beans play in reducing cholesterol. Only half a cup of cooked pinto bean daily can help lower the LDL cholesterol levels significantly.

Beans and other legumes such as white, pinto, red, navy, lentil, lima, and garbanzo are all excellent sources of soluble fiber. This fiber binds to cholesterol-loaded bile salts in the small intestine. Consequently, they promote their excretion along the rest of the waste.

When this happens, the liver has to use more cholesterol to produce more bile salts. This reduces the amount of cholesterol available to make LDL or bad cholesterol.

2. Seeds and nuts

Seeds and nuts also play a beneficial role in bringing down the cholesterol levels in the body. Specifically, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds. These boast rich content of vitamins, mineral, protein, fiber, heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in the diet.

Such a composition is helpful in lowering the markers of bad cholesterol in the body without any effect on the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Since nuts and seeds have a high calories count, it is best to stick to the daily intake limit of a quarter cup. What’s more, ensure that the nuts are not sugar or salt coated.

3. Oats

Oats exhibit a significant amount of beta-glucan, which is a water-soluble fiber that assists in reducing the amount of LDL cholesterol. A meta-analysis proved that taking at least 3 gram of oat beta-glucan can help reduce total cholesterol. It also lowers the LDL levels. This equates to an amount of ¼ cup of uncooked oat bran or one and a half cups of steel-cut oatmeal (cooked).

4. Apples

Well, didn’t they say that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” turns out it is applicable in regard to your cholesterol levels as well. Apples contain soluble fiber, that works in the LDL-lowering department. Evidence suggests that eating one or two apples in a day can help slow LDL cholesterol’s oxidation.

Over and above that, apples also contain antioxidant polyphenols, found primarily in the fruit’s skin. These antioxidants are essential because inflammation and plaque buildup in the arteries tend to occur when the bad cholesterol interacts with free radicals and oxidizes.

5. Red grapefruit

A red grapefruit can also help take down your bad cholesterol levels. Evidence suggests that the fruit can lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 20%. Especial compounds present in red grapefruit known as lycopene and liminioids produce cardioprotective effects.

Grapefruit is also a vital source of soluble fiber pectin that helps to lower LDL. However, if you are on any heart medication, then you need to avoid this fruit. This is because grapefruit can enhance the effect of some heart medicines such as calcium channel blockers and statins. Thus, it is better to consult your doctor before having the fruit or drinking its juice.