Contributed by Jason Knapfel, the Senior Producer for DietsInReview.com, which provides the tools and information needed to shape a healthier you.
Your body produces cholesterol on its own, but the amount depends upon genetics. Cholesterol is not inherently bad, since you need it for certain bodily functions. However, too much cholesterol can be bad news.
The American Heart Association has set ranges of cholesterol levels that show you where you stand health-wise:
Many tasty foods increase your cholesterol levels. But the good news is that there are some foods that actually lower them. Here are four foods that will do the trick:
Fiber is a key weapon in fighting high cholesterol. Oatmeal has soluble fiber, which lowers your LDL cholesterol, better known as the "bad" cholesterol.
Walnuts and almonds are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol levels.
Fish and omega-3s have all kinds of health benefits. If you eat fish like salmon, mackerel, and albacore tuna, the omega-3 fatty acids will help your heart in many ways, including lowering cholesterol.
Use it lightly on salads or other foods. This Mediterranean favorite contains antioxidants that lower LDL cholesterol. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that people get about two tablespoons of olive oil every day.
These are just a few of the foods that can help reverse your high cholesterol levels. Not only can should you incorporate those mentioned above, but a balanced diet can also include foods like eggs and beef in moderation without guilt or worry of damaging your health.