These eating strategies can help reduce your cravings for high cholesterol foods and help you reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

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1. Soy

Reducing saturated fat is the single most important dietary change you can make to cut blood cholesterol. Soy is used as a replacement for meat and cheese and helps your heart by slashing the amount of saturated fat that you eat.

Saturated fats are usually found in animal products such as whole milk, cream, butter, and cheese, and meats, such as beef, lamb and pork. There are some plant-based saturated fats you should avoid too, notably palm kernel oil, coconut oil, and vegetable shortening.

2. Beans

No food is more fibre-rich than beans. And beans are especially high in cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre. Eating a cup of any type of beans a day can lower cholesterol by as much as 10% in 6 weeks.

3. Omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other cold-water fish help lower "bad" cholesterol, raise "good" cholesterol, and lower triglycerides.

Salmon is an excellent source of protein because it is high in omega-3 fatty acids called EPA and DHA that are good for your heart while low in cholesterol and saturated fat.

4. Avocado

Avocados are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that may actually help to raise levels of HDL ("good" cholesterol) while lowering levels of LDL ("bad" cholesterol). They also pack more of the cholesterol-smashing beta-sitosterol (a beneficial plant-based fat) than any other fruit.

Beta-sitosterol reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food. So the combination of beta-sitosterol and monounsaturated fat makes the avocado an excellent cholesterol buster.

5. Garlic

Ancient Egyptians ate garlic for stamina; in modern times, garlic has been found to lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure, and protect against infections.

Research has also found that it helps stop artery-clogging plaque at its earliest stage. How? Garlic keeps individual cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls.