4 Cholesterol-Lowering Comfort Foods

Here at Men’s Health, you’re just as likely to overhear coworkers talking about their blood work as their workload. That’s because we’re lucky enough to be employed by one of the leading health and fitness companies in the world, one that cultivates the health and happiness of its employees with routine—and free!—health screenings.

Do you know your blood pressure? Glucose level? HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels? All of us should, but few of us do.

Another thing you probably don't know: Managing these numbers doesn’t have to be a full-time job—you can do it simply by making smart lifestyle choices every day. Take cholesterol. You're probably aware of the cholesterol-busting powers of oatmeal, beans, fish, and olive oil, but do you realize that some of your favorite foods can do the same? Here are four surprising foods that’ll lower your levels. And for more genius nutrition tips—along with quick, healthy, delicious recipes—sign up for our all-new Guy Gourmet newsletter!

1. Pizza

Just make sure to pile on the anchovies and garlic. The small fish is packed with the powerful minerals zinc, copper, iron, iodine, and selenium, which work alongside fish oils to more effectively lower cholesterol. And garlic’s antioxidant powers could help fight cholesterol by preventing free radicals from oxidizing LDLs.

2. Burgers

Cook up a grass-fed burger, which has a balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, and you could be lowering your LDL levels one bite at a time. Why? Conventionally farmed beef is about 1:20 in its ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. Grass-fed? Around 1:3, which is the ratio found in most fish. Plus, grass-fed beef has twice the vitamin E and only 15 percent as much fat as the regular stuff. And whatever you do, avoid the 15 Worst Burgers in America!

3. Pasta

The antioxidants in pasta help control inflammation and insulin, which in turn helps reduce levels of harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. When Harvard University researchers analyzed the diets of more than 27,000 people over 8 years, they discovered that those who ate whole grains daily weighed 2.5 pounds less than those who ate refined grains. Barilla, a major manufacturer of pasta products, recently released a line of whole-grain pastas that are almost identical to the average supermarket brand, and you can buy them in bulk at discount stores!

4. Scrambled Eggs

Most people associate eggs (with yolk) with high cholesterol. But according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition, this breakfast favorite actually increases good (HDL) cholesterol, not bad (LDL) cholesterol.

Plus, another study found that overweight people who ate a breakfast of two eggs with yolk instead of a bagel 5 days a week for 8 weeks reported higher energy levels and lost 65 percent more weight. That's right: That innocent-looking bagel is actually sabotaging your health! Here are 11 more shocking ways you're hurting your body and longevity: Simple Health Habits You're Doing All Wrong.

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Additional research and writing by Gerilyn Manago

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