Cholesterol is necessary in the body in order to build healthy cells, but too much cholesterol—high cholesterol—may increase the risk of heart disease. Cholesterol is found in the lipids, or fats, in the blood. High levels of cholesterol may result in fatty deposits within blood vessels, and these fatty deposits hinder the flow of oxygen-rich blood through arteries.
While cholesterol problems may be caused by genetics, there are other risk factors that can also lead to high cholesterol, including diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, poor diet, and smoking. The good news related to other risk factors is that you can make healthy lifestyle choices in order to help keep your cholesterol within good levels. Anything from eating healthy foods to regular exercise to quitting smoking can help aid in the prevention of high cholesterol.
Three foods that may help discourage high cholesterol include fish, oatmeal, and olive oil. Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as albacore tuna, halibut and salmon, can be a heart-healthy choice because omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce your blood pressure and the risk of developing blood clots. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber which reduces the bad cholesterol (LDL). And olive oil is rich in antioxidants that can help lower your bad cholesterol (LDL).