Among all nutraceuticals (foods with medicinal properties) oatmeal and oat bran are the most potent. Packed with soluble fiber, they create a gel-like substance in the digestive system that bonds with cholesterol molecules and prevents them from entering the blood stream. Harvard University conducted a study that analyzed over 60 trials and found that even small amounts of soluble fiber added to a daily diet could reduce cholesterol by 5 points. Other good sources besides oats are kidney beans, apples, and pears.
Red Yeast Rice
This yeast that grows on rice contains compounds that inhibit the bodys production of cholesterol. Studies have found that people who took this in supplement form were able to drop their bad cholesterol by 23% without making any other changes to their lifestyle at all. When combined with healthier changes to diet and exercise, they were able to drop it by 42%. Its also less likely to cause the painful muscle disease myopathy than typical cholesterol lowering statin drugs.
Even with 76% total fat by their weight, its mostly monounsaturated fat. This is beneficial in helping to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) without harming levels of good cholesterol (HDL). All nuts are high in antioxidants like omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin E, but macadamia nuts are the highest in monounsaturated fats. Studies from the University of Hawaii concluded that total cholesterol of those who added macadamia nuts to their diets for a month was 10 points lower than those who did not.
Loaded with some of the most potent antioxidants called polyphenols, green tea can lower bad cholesterol and keep it from forming plaque in blood vessels. In some studies, drinking 5 cups of green tea daily lowered cholesterol by 9 points compared to those who didnt drink any. Black tea also contains these antioxidants, but nowhere near the concentration of green tea. 3-5 cups a day is optimal for best results.