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The #1 Best Eating Habit to Lower Cholesterol After 50, Says Dietitian

Make sure you're getting enough of this nutrient on a daily basis.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

When you enter into your 50s, your body is going to change in many ways. One of the most common is your cholesterol levels potentially rising. While many things affect your cholesterol—like diet, smoking, exercise, and genetics—your age plays a part as well.

Cholesterol levels naturally rise for both men and women as they age, but women after menopause experience even a higher potential spike in their levels.

This is why it's crucial to do what you can in your 50s and 60s to help keep your cholesterol levels at bay, which includes your eating and exercise habits.

According to Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and a member of our medical expert board, one of the best eating habits you can have to lower cholesterol after 50 is including soluble fiber into your diet.

"Soluble fiber is one of the biggest factors that can help lower cholesterol because it dissolves in water to form a gel-like material that can bind to cholesterol," says Goodson.

Here's why soluble fiber matters for your cholesterol levels, and for more health tips make sure to check out Drinking Habits Science Says Helps With High Cholesterol.

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veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and oats
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In terms of the types of foods to consume, Goodson says "oats and anything made with oat flour, fruits where you can eat the skin, beans, seeds and nuts like almonds, top the charts with soluble fiber."

"Try eating oatmeal at breakfast, having almonds and an apple at snack time, sprinkling seeds in your cereal or yogurt, and adding beans to a bowl at dinner time," she says.

While soluble fiber is the type that binds to cholesterol and removes it from the body, insoluble fiber is also important to your health. This type of fiber is what helps to soften your stool and keep your digestive tract healthy, and it can be found in foods like whole grains, potatoes, and green beans.

But ultimately when it comes to lowering cholesterol, soluble fiber should be your focus. According to Goodson, "the goal is to eat 25 to 38 grams of fiber a day and have 5 to 10 of those grams come from soluble fiber."

For more tips on lowering cholesterol, read these next: