An excessive intake of dietary cholesterol could lead to an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks, arteriosclerosis and stroke. However, good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) enables your body to be healthy. Normal levels of cholesterol help the blood in your vessels flow freely while high levels of LDL leads to clots in the blood. There are certain foods that are known to bring your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels down while giving you other health benefits. This is what you need to eat as part of your healthy diet every day:

Strawberries: Fresh berries are powerful sources of various nutrients which make them extremely healthy. Whether it is lower blood sugar or lose weight, berries feature at the top of the ‘must-eat’ foods. Strawberries are known to reduce LDL by about 14 per cent, according to research by Università Politecnica Delle Marche in Italy. It is best to consume them fresh (not canned) and in the whole fruit form instead of juice.

Fish: Oily fish like salmon, sardines, trout and others have omega-3 fatty acids that have been found to reduce LDL cholesterol. They also help increase good cholesterol levels and keep your arteries clean. Make sure to eat shallow fried, steamed or baked fish.

Garlic: Garlic has tons of health benefits. Garlic is also good for reducing LDL cholesterol and controlling blood pressure, preventing the build-up of plaque in the arteries and keeping diseases like stroke at bay.

Turmeric: Turmeric is heart-friendly primarily because of its ability to lower bad cholesterol. A simple pinch of organic turmeric powder can do wonders to your health.

Wholegrain foods: Fibre-rich foods including oats, beans, pulses can efficiently help flush out bad cholesterol from the body. Oats are known for their high content of beta-glucan the soluble fibre that can bind bad cholesterol circulating in the blood and eliminate it and thus reduce cholesterol levels. Include these in your roti attas, upmas, salads and other daily foods.

Nuts: Foods that have polyunsaturated fatty acids including almonds, walnuts etc. help in lowering bad cholesterol levels. Make sure to eat only the plain, unsalted variety.

Red wine: Cheers! Did know that a glass of red wine every day can help reduce the risk of blood clots and bad cholesterol formation and keep your heart healthy?

Make sure to consult a doctor before eating any of these foods to lower cholesterol. Some foods may react with your cholesterol medication and bring about undesirable results.