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It is common that before surgery patient’s cholesterol levels are higher than what they should be, and after surgery, you may still struggle to keep those levels down.

There are certain foods that aid in keeping cholesterol numbers down, and since you will be eating less, you may be disregarding those foods.

Here’s a list of them so you remember to eat them:

Healthy fats:

Almonds and other nuts: Be careful with portion size though, these are high in calories, so make sure you get just a handful a day as a snack or added to your salad, but research has shown almonds help lower cholesterol.

Avocados: Research has shown adding an avocado to your daily diet may reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is also known as the “bad” cholesterol.

Olive oil: this type of oil is also known to help keep cholesterol numbers down. Instead of using other fats to sautée, use olive oil and use it also raw in your salads or as a dip for bread.

High fiber foods:

Oatmeal is one of the most common foods known to aid in hypercholesterolemia because of its high soluble fiber content. It helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol in your bloodstream. Research has shown consuming five to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day decreases LDL cholesterol.

Other high fiber options include kidney beans, Brussel sprouts, apples, bananas, berries, and pears.

Fish and omega-3 fatty acids:

Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce triglycerides (another type of fat in the blood). They also aid in lowering blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing blood clots.

You will find the highest levels of omega-3 in mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, and trout.

Avoid cooking them with more fat by grilling or baking the fish.

Walnuts, flaxseed and canola oil have also some amount of omega-3.

Whey protein:

Studies show whey protein can also lower LDL levels. Whey protein is a protein found in dairy products, but you can buy this as a supplement powder at your local health food store.

This list of foods should be consumed being careful with portion size and eaten only after approved by your surgeon. Remember you will have to go through a number of diet phases immediately after your surgery, which include a liquid diet and adding solid food gradually.

The list is intended for patients who are already back to eating normally and need to keep cholesterol levels down.