Tips for Seniors to Lower Cholesterol Naturally (And Still Enjoy Life)

better healthier life

Summary: Learn how to lower cholesterol levels through dietary choices, exercise, and healthy habits.

Do you ever feel like being healthier is code for sacrificing fun? With nearly 86 million adults in the U.S. affected by high cholesterol, you may worry that you can’t enjoy pizza and cake at your grandchild’s birthday party or have a beer at your next barbecue.

But there’s great news — that doesn’t have to be your reality. Small, simple steps can make a big difference in your health. The trick to enjoying moments with friends and family while avoiding unhealthy foods is to swap out food choices that raise bad cholesterol levels for selections that help lower cholesterol naturally.

“Bad” vs “Good” Cholesterol

You probably already know that high cholesterol is one of the main causes of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases.1 But did you know there are two types of cholesterol, and one isn’t considered “bad” at all?

Bad Cholesterol

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the less-desirable cholesterol because it creates fatty buildup and plaque in your arteries. Higher levels of LDL are linked with heart disease.

Good Cholesterol

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the “good” or healthy type of cholesterol. You want to keep this level higher—not lower. Lower levels of HDL can increase the risk of heart disease.2

How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally

For those wondering how to lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) naturally, it starts in the kitchen. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop eating all your favorite foods. A low cholesterol diet can be delicious as well as nutritious. Regular exercise is important too.

Cholesterol-lowering foods to help lower bad cholesterol

Unsaturated fat is one dietary element that helps reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. Low cholesterol diets that contain unsaturated fats include:

  1. Most types of fish
  2. Olive oil and olives
  3. Tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, and pistachios
  4. Avocados
  5. Oats
  6. Beans

Adding more of these heart-healthy foods to your diet is a simple way to help your heart. However, be mindful not to negate their benefits by adding extra fatty ingredients to your recipes—for example, refried beans with bacon and oil won’t count as “hearty-healthy” even when paired with lots of vegetables.

If you’re wondering how to reduce cholesterol quickly, focus on incorporating these nutritious foods while avoiding unhealthy additions.

Eat healthier snacks

Small changes can have a big impact on your heart health. If you’re wondering how to lower cholesterol, consider some of these healthy swaps next time you’re snacking:

  • Ditch the potato chips, and grab a snack pack of almonds
  • Swap cheese and crackers for corn chips and guacamole.
  • Bake your potatoes instead of frying them.
  • Instead of sugary cereal for breakfast, try oatmeal topped with fruit.

You can still be the cool grandmother with a pantry stocked with cholesterol lowering foods. Help yourself and pass along healthy habits with these DIY healthy snacks for kids the next time your grandchildren come for a visit:

  • Trade fruit snacks for fresh berries or make your own fruit snacks.
  • Make homemade popcorn instead of reaching for a buttery, pre-made bag.
  • Turn plain toast with butter into teddy bear toast with peanut butter and fruit.

High cholesterol foods to limit

The key word here is limit. In moderation, you can still enjoy most foods unless your doctor tells you otherwise. If you’re researching how to lower your cholesterol without medication, provided your doctor approve, be mindful of eating the following:

  • Pizza
  • Fried foods, such as potato chips and onion rings
  • Processed lunch meats, bacon, and sausage
  • High-sugar treats such as cookies and cakes

Next time you want one of these foods, see if you can make it yourself with a low-cholesterol recipe.

Don’t forget to exercise

As important as food is for maintaining your LDL and HDL levels, exercise is also a factor in lowering cholesterol naturally and overall healthy living. Exercise helps lower cholesterol by:

  • Increasing good cholesterol levels, which helps transport fatty deposits to the liver and out of your body.
  • Getting your blood pumping—which helps keep your arteries clear.

There are so many ways to get active as a senior, and there’s no better excuse for a fun game of hide and seek or tag with your kids or grandchildren.

Lowering your cholesterol naturally is one of many ways to stay healthy as you age. Plus, it’s one of the best ways to prevent heart disease. Committing to do these things now can help you live longer and do more of the things you want in life — like watching your grandchildren graduate high school or even marry and have children of their own.

If you have any questions or concerns about your cholesterol levels, be sure to consult with your doctor.

FAQs: How to lower cholesterol naturally

How can I lower my high cholesterol quickly?

Quick reductions in cholesterol require lifestyle changes such as adopting a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight.

What foods flush out cholesterol naturally?

Foods high in soluble fiber (oats, beans, fruits), nuts, fatty fish, and olive oil can help flush out cholesterol naturally. That’s why they’re considered part of a low cholesterol diet and are a part of how to lower LDL cholesterol. Certain plant compounds called phytosterols, found in fortified foods, are also beneficial.

What is the best drink to lower cholesterol?

Green tea, with its antioxidant properties, may help lower LDL cholesterol. Black tea in moderation also shows potential benefits. However, water remains the primary beverage for overall health and hydration.


1 CDC (2023, May 15). Web page: High Cholesterol Facts. Retrieved March, 2024, from
 2 Cleveland. (2023, June 11). HDL Cholesterol. Retrieved March 14, 2024, from