15 Healthy Nigerian Foods With Low Cholesterol

Nigerian foods with low cholesterol

Many Nigerians today suffer from cholesterol problems. High cholesterol is very detrimental to your health and can even expose you to serious health conditions, including chest pain, heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, and heart failure. [1]

The normal cholesterol level for an average healthy adult is below 200 mg/d. When your cholesterol levels are between 200 mg/dL and 239 mg/dL, then it is considered to be high. It is recommended that every adult check their cholesterol levels at least once every five years. [2]

However, one of the best ways to lower your cholesterol naturally is by consuming low-cholesterol foods on a regular basis.

15 Nigerian Foods With Low Cholesterol

Nigerian foods with low cholesterol

Without further hesitation, here are some Nigerian foods with low cholesterol:

1. Beans and Legumes

Beans contain huge amount of soluble fibre, a fibre type proven to be very effective in reducing bad cholesterol in the body. More importantly, beans are the richest sources of soluble fibre and even when you eat 1 cup of any type of bean [pinto, navy, chickpea, black, butter, etc.] it can help reduce your calories by a whopping 10% within few weeks. [3]

2. Fish and Seafood

Fish are found almost everywhere in Nigeria, and they are widely consumed in our different homes, restaurants, events, etc. However, fish are not only delicious but also full of benefits such that they can help reduce your cholesterol to a certain degree, special thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids they contain.

Aside from lowered LDL cholesterol, another reason you should eat fish regularly is because they help in lowering high blood pressure and can also reduce the risk of blood clots. [4]

If you want to enjoy the full benefits that are embedded in fish, you may need to avoid deep frying because the added oil may increase your cholesterol again. Please keep this in mind!

3. Brown Rice

Ofada rice weight loss

Brown rice is an excellent source of minerals, fiber, and vitamins. Again, unlike many other rice types, Brown rice contains highly saturated oil, which is a key factor when it comes to balancing the cholesterol levels in your body. In fact, a cup of rice contains about 11 percent fiber, which makes them a great food choice for cholesterol watchers.

READ: Health Benefits of Ofada Rice 

4. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are very rich in lycopene, a potent antioxidant responsible for their reddish color. However, regular intake of this antioxidant has been proven to be very effective in lowering the level of LDL cholesterol by an appreciable margin, and this is one of the reasons you should eat more tomatoes on a regular basis. All you need do is to either munch on raw tomatoes or sip tomato juice. [5]

In addition to the above, it will interest you to know that when you cook tomatoes with a little olive, coconut oil, or some other oils, it can help increase the amount of lycopene absorbed by your body.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the most recommended home remedies for high cholesterol, and this is because of its high effectiveness as well as visible results. The lauric acid in Coconut oil will help keep your cholesterol ratio in check simply by increasing “good” HDL cholesterol while lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol in your body. However, there are several ways you can incorporate coconut oil into your diet, and one of the best ways is to add a moderate quantity of organic coconut oil when cooking. [6]

WARNING: To prevent yourself against certain health conditions, avoid using processed or refined coconut oil.

6. Oats

The beta-glucan in oats works greatly in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. It also gets rid of the bile salts in the intestine which are responsible for the formation of cholesterol while also reducing the facts absorbed by your body. [7]

7. Okra


This is yet another amazing Nigerian food with low cholesterol, and it is also one of the nutritional powerhouses that have been used severally for both culinary and medicinal purposes. This superfood contains extremely low calorie, and it is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which plays a vital role in reducing cholesterol levels, improving digestion, regulating sugar absorption rate, and lots more. Okra soup is a good way to enjoy the health benefits of okro.

8. Apple

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
I guess you must have heard this before. Isn’t it?
Well, one of the ways apples keep the doctor away is that – it helps in reducing cholesterol level!
Multiple studies reveal that regular intake [preferably two or three times a day] of apple for months can help reduce cholesterol level by an appreciable margin. This is made possible because of the pectin content found in apple; what it does in the body is to absorb “biliary salts,” which plays an important role in the formation and development of cholesterol in the body.

Looking for best Nigerian foods with low cholesterol? Apple is a great option for you!

9. Avocados

Avocados are excellent sources of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and beta-sitosterol, which keep your cholesterol level in check simply by increasing “good” HDL cholesterol while lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol in your body.

Avocados are also a great food choice for people with excess cholesterol or triglycerides in their blood as it penetrates the system to strike a balance in the HDL/LDL ratio. [8]

It is worthy to note that Avocados also contain certain fat-burning properties that are very effective in shrinking belly fat, which makes them a great fruit for people with excess weight.

Replacing the cheese in your salads with avocado is also beneficial to your health as it will help reduce calories, cholesterol, saturated fat, as well as sodium in your body.

10. Banana

Banana is not only a delicious natural fruit but also a highly-beneficial fruit. This amazing fruit can help reduce cholesterol level in your body by a significant margin, special thanks to the vegetable fiber and other potent properties it contains. Banana is also a great food choice for people with coronary heart diseases such as angina, heart failure, arterial hypertension, and myocardial infarction.

11. Garlic

Yes, adding some garlic to your dishes can help enhance the flavor but do you know that it provides many more benefits aside from this?

Well, multiple studies reveal that Garlic is very beneficial to the human health, especially the heart such that it can help reduce the risk of blood clots, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, to mention but a few. [9]

12. Nuts – Tiger Nut, Almonds, and Walnuts

Tiger nuts

Nuts are another nutritionally rich food, which can help lower cholesterol.
Many healthy Nigerian nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats. Walnuts, for example, are rich in the plant variety of omega-3 fatty acids, that improves heart health. One of the health benefits of tiger nuts is that it contains a huge amount of monounsaturated fats which lowers of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Almonds, in turn, reduce blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease.

Nuts also contain phytosterols, a compound that helps in lowering cholesterol by blocking its absorption to the intestines. [10]

13. Vegetable Soup

Vegetable soup is a common delicacy in Nigeria, and it is prepared with fluted pumpkin leaves or ugwu. The soup is called Edikang Ikong in the southern parts of Nigeria.

Vegetable Soup is rich in fiber full of powerful antioxidants and extremely low in calories, which is important for maintaining a healthy heart.

Many vegetables are also rich in pectin, a cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber that is also present in apples and oranges. If you can’t prepare vegetable soup, then try to incorporate more vegetables in your diet.
Other good Nigerian foods that lower cholesterol in this category are spinach, bitterl eaf, and other dark leafy greens.

14. Olive Oil

Many Nigerian dishes require frying, so it is healthier to use olive oil for frying. Quality virgin olive oil is an excellent alternative to many other cooking oils. It improves heart health, lowers blood pressure, and protects LDL particles from oxidation. [11]

15. Corn Pap (Akamu)

Corn pap, or akamu, ogi is a fermented cereal pudding, that is mainly consumed as a healthy Nigerian breakfast. It is very nutritious and comprises of vital minerals and vitamins. It also lowers high blood pressure due to its high potassium content, gives energy and is completely natural.

Bottom Line

Cholesterol problems are a major issue affecting Nigerians. High cholesterol can lead to diseases such as atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart failure. Some healthy Nigerian foods with low cholesterol can help you avoid cholesterol problems.


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