Cardiologist shares five foods she eats to lower cholesterol

Cardiologist shares the 5 foods she eats to lower cholesterol—most people ‘aren’t eating enough’ of them

Published Wed, Apr 5 202310:03 AM EDTUpdated Wed, Apr 5 20231:22 PM EDT

Dr. Elizabeth Klodas, Contributor

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When it comes to overall health, there’s nothing more important than protecting your heart health.

As a  cardiologist, I always tell patients that lowering their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol can help prevent cardiovascular disease — and the No. 1 nutrient that can help is fiber.

Many foods have soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 25 grams of dietary fiber a day. Sadly, most Americans — 95% of adults and children — aren’t eating enough of it.

Here are five fiber rich foods I eat every day to keep a healthy heart and live longer:

1. Oats

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I always stock my kitchen with oats, and typically have half a cup per day. Not only are they high in fiber, they contain plenty of antioxidants, including those that help improve blood vessel function and lower blood pressure

Oats are great raw as part of a ground nutty granola that can be sprinkled over yogurt, or cooked and served with blueberries and cinnamon. 

2. Chickpeas 

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All beans and legumes are good for us, but chickpeas are one of my favorites because they’re so versatile. You can add them in a stew, toss some in your salad, or roast them in the oven as a fun snack.

They’re packed with potassium and magnesium, both important for blood pressure control. One cup has almost 15 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber, and one-fourth of your daily iron requirement.  

3. Arugula 

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Leafy greens of all shapes and sizes should be included in our everyday diet. I like arugula for its peppery flavor. Two cups of arugula can supply one gram of fiber in only 10 calories. 

Arugula is an excellent source of beta carotene, which converts into vitamin A. This is essential for good visiona strong immune system and healthy skin.

4. Almonds 

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All nuts and seeds in their raw and unprocessed forms are excellent sources of nutrition, and I make a point to eat them daily. 

A small handful of almonds delivers three and a half grams of fiber, six grams of protein, and nearly 40% of your daily vitamin E requirement.  

Chia and flax seeds are high in fiber, too, and contain lots of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

5. Avocados 

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We don’t typically think of avocados as a source of fiber, but an average-sized avocado delivers 14 grams of it.

At just over 300 calories, one avocado is also an excellent source of multiple essential vitamins, minerals and healthy monounsaturated fats.

Dr. Elizabeth Klodas is a cardiologist and founder of Step One Foods. Trained at Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins, Dr. Klodas has published dozens of scientific articles throughout her career, authored a book for patients, ”Slay the Giant: The Power of Prevention in Defeating Heart Disease,″ and served as founding editor-in-chief of

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