Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Many of my clients want to know why certain foods lower cholesterol levels. Well, researchers continue to study the ingredients in these foods. So far, this is what we know:

Oat cereal or any cereals containing flaxseed or psyllium (soluble fiber) or whole grain cereals (folic acid, vitamin E, vitamin B6)

Fruits: currants, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, including their seeds (vitamin C, carotenoids and ellagic acid); citrus fruits (vitamin C, folic acid and soluble fiber) and apples (vitamin C and soluble fiber)

Nuts: especially pecans and walnuts, and olives (mono-unsaturated fats); seeds (lignans) and soy nuts (genistein). All these fatty foods contain Vitamin E.

Legumes: dried beans, peas and lentils – in tasty and hearty soups, stews and salads (soluble fiber, folic acid, phytochemicals, vitamins A, C and E, beta carotene, carotenoids and isoflavonoids with a synergistic effect between vitamins C and E); add corn (soluble fiber and stanol esters).

Soybeans: (genistein, fiber, unsaturated fats, B vitamins and stanol esters). Look at the variety in your supermarket shelves. Many recipes are appearing in books, newspapers and magazines.

Whole wheat bread (stanol esters)

Vegetables: onion, watercress, cruciferous vegetables, leeks and garlic (allylic acid), dark colored (folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, carotenoids) and artichokes (cynarin). Cruciferous vegetables are members of the cabbage family – broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

Avocado (mono-unsaturated fats)

Margarine-like spreads (stanols, omega 3’s, unsaturated fats)

Lean meats and chicken (Vitamin B6, B12)

Fish: salmon, swordfish, tuna and trout (omega 3 fatty acids)

Oils: canola, olive and sunflower oils

Alcohol: 1 drink per day for woman and 2 drinks per day for men. One serving equals 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine or 1 ½ oz liquor (antioxidant polyphenols); red wine (catechin, quercetin, resveratrol)

Low fat dairy products (vitamin B12)

Tea: black, oolong or green (polyphenol flavonoids, catechins)

Dark chocolate (polyphenol flavonoids)

Hey, where are all the supplements? First change your lifestyle habits for three months and see your blood fat levels decrease. After that, discuss supplements with your dietitian.

Shop, prepare foods, enjoy the variety and aim for healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels for you and your family.