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Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, fresh tuna (not canned) and mackerel are very high in omega-3 fatty acids. These reduce levels of triglycerides in the blood, lower blood pressure and reducing blood clotting. It is recommended that approximately 170g of fish is eaten twice a week.
2. Soy protein
Consuming 25-50g a day of soy protein found in foods such as tofu and soy milk can lower ‘bad' cholesterol (low density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol) by four to eight per cent. Try to replace some animal products with soy. Make a stir-fry using tofu rather than meat or make smoothies using soy milk.
3. Oats/oat bran
Oats and oat bran contain soluble fibre, which reduces cholesterol absorption. Eating 1½ cups of cooked oatmeal or an oat-based cereal each day lowers cholesterol, and 5 to 10g of soluble fibre a day decreases LDL cholesterol by five per cent.
4. Plant sterols
Plant sterols help block the absorption of cholesterol in the gut. You can find these in margarines designed to help people reduce their high levels of ‘bad' LDL cholesterol.
These nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which help reduce blood cholesterol and keep blood vessels healthy and elastic. Eating 30g of nuts daily (or at least four to five times a week) is protective.