The body already produces enough cholesterol on its own. In fact, cholesterol, a steroid lipid or fat, is required for proper function of cell membranes. However, consuming foods and drinks high in cholesterol will give you more than you need, which poses an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and other health ailments. Found in the blood, you can quickly test your cholesterol level with your family doctor or even at home with a test kit. You need to evaluate your good HDL cholesterol levels against the bad LDL cholesterol levels. A balanced diet paired with daily exercise will ultimately help you regulate healthy cholesterol. There are a variety of foods you can eat that will not only assist in lowering bad cholesterol, but they will also leave the good HDL cholesterol unaffected. Check out these ten foods that help lower cholesterol.

1. Almonds

Rich with unsaturated fats, almonds work hard to raise your healthy HDL cholesterol while lowering your unhealthy LDL cholesterol. Furthermore, LDL is less likely to oxidize; this is a good thing because oxidation causes a build-up in the arteries and a restriction of blood flow to the heart. When you snack on almonds, though, beware of their high-calorie count unless you want to put on some extra pounds. Other than that, this is a healthy treat that tastes great.