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Some foods can help lower cholesterol

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Most individuals who receive unhealthy cholesterol test results end up taking prescription medications to bring their cholesterol back into a reasonable range. However, this may not be the only approach that works. Diet and exercise can have a powerful impact on cholesterol levels.

There are many foods that can help bring down blood lipids. For example, a recent study from Penn State University researchers found that pistachios have high levels of a compound called phytosterols, which can actually block cholesterol from being absorbed into the arteries, where it causes most of its damage.

"We already know that pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free food, but this new study suggests that phytosterols, or plant sterols, in pistachios may help to reduce the absorption of cholesterol," said Constance Geiger, nutrition expert for the Western Pistachio Association. "Lowering cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease."

While individuals with high cholesterol test scores should consult with their doctors before changing any treatment regimen, eating more heart-healthy foods like pistachios could help them improve their cardiovascular system.

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