The best meal for anyone worried about cholesterol is one low in saturated fat and abundant in fruits and vegetables. Although there are no magic bullets, certain foods have been shown to give cholesterol levels an extra nudge in the right direction. Weave some of these foods, ID'd by research as cholesterol-friendly, into your daily diet.
Alcohol: Drinking a glass of wine with dinner -- any alcoholic beverage, in fact -- has been shown to raise good-cholesterol levels and lower the risk of a heart attack. Excessive drinking, however, raises heart-disease danger.
Almonds: Substances in almond skins help prevent LDL "bad" cholesterol from being oxidized, a process that can otherwise damage the lining of blood vessels and increase cardiovascular risk.
Avocados: The monounsaturated fats in avocados have been found to lower "bad" LDLs and raise "good" HDLs, especially in people with mildly elevated cholesterol.
Barley: When volunteers in a USDA study added barley to the standard American Heart Association diet, LDL "bad" cholesterol levels fell more than twice as far. Barley makes a great substitute for rice, adds depth to soups and is terrific with dried fruits, nuts and a little oil and vinegar for a hearty salad.
Beans, lentils: From a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, LDL "bad" cholesterol levels fell almost twice as far in those volunteers on a low-fat diet who added beans and lentils (with more whole grains and vegetables) to the menu. Experiment with beans in soups, salads, dips, burritos, lasagnas and casseroles.
Blueberries: Blueberries have a powerful antioxidant called pterostilbene that may help lower LDL cholesterol.
Oats: When women in a study added oat bran to a heart-healthy diet, beneficial HDL-cholesterol levels climbed more than 11 percent. Consider a daily bowl of oat-bran hot cereal or oatmeal. Oat-bran muffins can pack a tasty dose in your day.