Cholesterol is created by the liver and is found in every cell of the body. It’s essential for building and maintaining cell membranes, making hormones, and producing vitamin D.
But cholesterol molecules are waxy and hydrophobic, meaning they don’t move easily through the water-based blood. The body packages cholesterol into lipoproteins to help them along, two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
LDL particles transport cholesterol from the liver out to the rest of the body. HDL particles pick up excess cholesterol and return it to the liver to be removed and recycled.
If there’s too much LDL cholesterol in your blood and not enough HDL, the waxy lipids can build up in your blood vessels, forming plaques that narrow and harden the arteries. This raises your blood pressure and is a significant risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular diseases.
The food and drinks you consume directly impact your cholesterol levels. By starting your day with one of these healthy breakfast options, you may improve your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
One way to lower your LDL cholesterol levels is to increase your soluble fiber intake. Soluble fiber binds to cholesterol and removes it from the body before it has a chance to be absorbed into the blood.
Oats are a great source of soluble fiber, and oatmeal is a simple and tasty breakfast option to help lower your cholesterol.
Not just oats but all whole grains contain soluble fiber and can help reduce your LDL cholesterol levels.
Instead of refined grains like white bread, choose whole-grain options like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and quinoa. These foods contain more fiber and nutrients and will be better for your health.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.
In one study, participants who ate an avocado a day as part of a moderate‐fat, cholesterol‐lowering diet had significantly lower LDL levels than those who ate a similar diet without avocados.
While dairy milk is a good source of calcium, protein, and other nutrients, it also contains saturated fat, raising your LDL cholesterol levels.
Almond milk is a dairy-free alternative low in saturated fat and rich with heart-healthy nutrients, making it a good choice for those with high cholesterol.
Many brands of orange juice are fortified with plant sterols, which have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol.
Orange juice is also a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that may further help reduce the risk of heart disease.
A glass of orange juice each morning with a healthy whole-grain breakfast can be a delicious and healthful way to start your day and reduce your risk of suffering from heart disease.