Almonds, cashews, pistachios, flaxseed, and chia seeds.
Fruits and vegetables in general are excellent choices because of their nutrients and fiber.
Chickpeas and other legumes (lentils, other kinds of beans) are a top-notch source of soluble fiber -- the kind of fiber that can lower your "bad" LDL cholesterol. If you buy canned beans, look for low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties (sodium can raise your blood pressure).
Other options: Eggplant, okra, apples, and pears are also good choices for soluble fiber.
A cornerstone of the traditional Mediterranean diet, olive oil is a great pick when you need to limit saturated fat (found in meat, whole milk, and butter). Fats from animal products, and trans fats ("partially hydrogenated oils") raise your "bad" cholesterol and can make fat build up inside your arteries.
These fruits get their creamy texture from "good" (monounsaturated) fats, which lower your "bad" cholesterol.
"They also seem to have an anti-inflammatory effect, so you don't get chronic inflammation that makes atherosclerosis -- the hardening of artery walls -- worse," Johnson says.
150 grams of nuts each week may cut your risk of heart disease in half say experts. Walnuts have lots of “good” fats. Walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fats.