1. Roasted almonds—with the skins
Just a fistful of almonds packs a whopping 9 grams of monounsaturated fat, helping slash bad cholesterol, while boosting the good kind. Opting for almonds instead of a doughnut, chips, or pretzels for two snacks a day could cut your “bad” cholesterol by nearly 10 percent. Natural vitamin E in the almond’s “meat” plus flavonoids in this nut’s papery skin also help halt the development of artery-clogging plaque.
In a study from Mexico’s Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, women and men who ate one avocado per day for a week had a reduction in total cholesterol of 17 percent. The amazing details: While their levels of unhealthy LDL and triglycerides fell, good HDL levels actually rose—thanks, perhaps to the avocado’s high levels of “good” monounsaturated fat. This fatty fruit is also full of cholesterol-cutting beta-sitosterol.