Cholesterol is complicated. We need a certain amount of it for normal bodily functions, but too much of it can be a very bad thing.
If you’ve been told by a doctor that you have high cholesterol, this means that your levels of LDL cholesterol are too high (the “bad” cholesterol) and now your job is to lower them. While things like reducing stress, quitting your smoking habit, and exercising regularly can all help significantly, eating healthier food is crucial as well.
But oftentimes it’s not just the food we eat but the combinations of food that can help with certain health complications, because it gives us the opportunity for a multitude of nutrients in one bite. For example, Courtney D’Angelo, MS, RD, author at Go Wellness, suggests a combination of oatmeal made with almond milk as a breakfast to help lower cholesterol levels.
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfast choices you can make, and it has been found to help you manage your weight, help improve your gut health, and help to lower your cholesterol levels.
“Eating one bowl of oatmeal ensures you’re consuming about 5 grams of dietary fiber,” says D’Angelo. “Oatmeal specifically contains soluble fiber, which can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream and five to ten grams of soluble fiber per day can decrease your LDL cholesterol.”
One review published in Nutrients found that soluble fiber intake was not only associated with heart health in the form of lowering blood cholesterol levels, but that it was also known to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease overall.
Along with its fiber content, another reason why oatmeal is such a healthy breakfast choice is the fact that you can add so many healthy, nutrient-dense ingredients to your bowl as well. For example, D’Angelo recommends including nut products like almond milk or almond butter.
“Almond milk is packed with healthy fats, fiber, magnesium, and other vitamins, and eating nuts like almonds can help lower LDL cholesterol. So, if you’re adding almond milk or almond butter to your oatmeal, plus fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, or sliced apples, you’ll get an additional fiber boost for a very healthy breakfast.”
In fact, a study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that consistent consumption of almonds and almond oil have been found to help lower “bad” cholesterol and raise “good” cholesterol.
If you’re looking for a heart-healthy breakfast full of healthy fats, vitamins, and soluble fiber, enjoying a bowl of oatmeal with almond milk or almond butter, plus some delicious fruit, is the perfect choice for you.