ask the nutritionist: eating for cholesterol health

Do you like my heart health picture?! :)

One thing I’ve always disliked about diets and “healthy living” is that much of the focus tends to be on what you CAN’T have. I think this can be daunting, especially when someone is in the process of just changing their dietary ways.

I like to focus on what you CAN and SHOULD have. Today’s post is about just that.

Eating for Cholesterol Health

Quick Info:

  • HDL cholesterol is the “good” cholesterol which essentially works to remove the dangerous cholesterol out of your body for disposal – levels should be over 60.
  • LDL cholesterol is the “bad” cholesterol which can eventually cause plaque buildup in the arteries – levels should be below 200.
  • Cholesterol levels have an affect on heart health in that high levels of LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol are a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

What to Eat:

  • Monounsaturated Fats (olive oil, avocado) can help lower LDL cholesterol
  • Fiber (especially soluble fiber) helps lower cholesterol (foods like oatmeal, pinto beans, red kidney beans, brusssels sprouts and sweet potatoes are high in soluble fiber)
  • Omega 3’s help to lower triglycerides which in turn help raise HDL cholesterol levels
  • Nuts (especially almonds), Coconut Oil, Wine, Milk (Calcium and Phosphorus), Soy and Garlic can also all help
  • Exercise (I know this isn’t something you eat, but exercise seems to help everything, doesn’t it?)

Quaker and SUPERVALU (Cub is the local Minnesota SUPERVALU store) have teamed up to offer cholesterol screening with the purchase of three Quaker Heart Healthy Products (Instant Oatmeal, Quick or Old Fashioned Oats, Oatmeal Squares).  What a great local resource. I know I put off getting my cholesterol checked for a long time but there really is no excuse now. Everyone needs to eat breakfast, right? :)  The Power in Numbers program has a great page on understanding your numbers so that you can interpret what your levels really mean once you get them.

Go head to your local Cub* (store finder) and get your cholesterol checked! Have any questions? Email me:

*Or other SUPERVALU store in your area

Disclosure statement: This post is part of a sponsored partnership between myself and Quaker Oats.  I was compensated for my time and writing but my opinions are my own.


  1. says

    awesome! great information – so important. do you have any examples of foods high in omega-3’s? i think fish is a good source, but i’m not a fish lover. now that i’m pregnant, i’m thinking of all these things, and wanting to ensure me and baby get all the nutrients we need!

    • Emily says

      Great question! Flax, walnuts, hemp and cooked soybeans are other good vegetarian sources. Or you could also try taking a supplement – I take a EPA & DHA fish oil supplement. (You really want only omega-3 fatty acids in a supplement though – you probably get plenty of omega-6 and 9.)

  2. says

    I totally agree… when talking about healthy eating, too many times the emphasis is placed on what you can’t have rather than what tastes good and is good for you! It’s no wonder that so many people avoid eating healthy because they think they can only eat steamed broccoli and boiled chicken.

  3. says

    I always like to focus on what you CAN have too!! Great point! Oh and thanks for the juicing combo! We bought a cucumber this week specifically for juicing and I have all the ingredients for your favorite blend! Can’t wait to try it!

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