What: Monounsaturated fats
Why: Prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of plaque buildup
Where: Olive, peanut, and canola oils, as well as many nuts, including cashews and almonds

What: Omega-3 fatty acids
Why: Decrease clotting and may reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat
Where: Cold-water fatty fish (herring, salmon, lake trout, sardines, albacore tuna); flaxseed and hempseed

What: Plant sterols and stanols
Why: Inhibit cholesterol absorption in the intestines
Where: Soyfoods; fortified butter-substitute spreads (check the label)

What: Soluble fiber
Why: Binds to fatty substances and removes them from the body, leaving less fat to make cholesterol
Where: Dried beans and peas; whole grains, especially oats and barley; psyllium seeds and flaxseed; all fruits and vegetables, including apples with skin, bananas, pears, blackberries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and carrots

Source: M. Laurel Cutlip, RD, LDN.