High cholesterol: Four delicious foods to add in diet proven to significantly lower levels
High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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Cholesterol is not intrinsically harmful, in fact, your body needs it to build healthy cells. High levels of cholesterol are harmful, however, because it causes fatty deposits to develop in your blood vessels. This increases a person’s risk of heart disease, a major cause of death in the UK and worldwide. Fortunately, by adding these four delicious foods in your daily diet your risk can be significantly reduced.
A review published in Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that dark chocolate and cocoa products may aid in lowering levels of LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol.
The secret lies in the presence of cocoa flavanols which researchers believe inhibit cholesterol absorption as well as the expression of LDL receptors.
Experts advise opting for dark chocolate which contains 70 percent or more cocoa solids or pure cacao powder due to their high flavanol content.
Onions are said to be the unsung heroes of cardiovascular health.
They contain bioactive sulphur compounds which reduce hardening of the arteries, keep blood pressure healthy and lower cholesterol.
The British Journal of Nutrition stated in their study that onions help lower cholesterol by decreasing the body’s synthesis of the compound as well as increasing conversion of cholesterol to bile acids.
The study added that cooked onions were more effective in helping to lower levels rather than raw.
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Fruit and berries
Fruit is a fantastic addition to a heart-healthy diet for numerous reasons.
Many types of fruit are rich in soluble fibre, a big component in helping to lower cholesterol levels by encouraging your body to get rid of the waxy substance while stopping your liver from producing it.
Fruits also contain bioactive compounds that help prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases thanks to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Eating berries and grapes, which are particularly rich sources of these plant compounds, can help increase good HDL cholesterol and lower and LDL cholesterol.
Lentils are high in soluble fibre which helps to lower cholesterol levels.
A study published in The Canadian Medical Association Journal found that eating just three-quarters of a cup of cooked legumes daily helped to reduce LDL levels by around five percent.
That five percent reduction was also associated with a five to six percent reduction in heart attack risk and other major cardiovascular events say researchers.
Lentils’ high protein levels make it the perfect meat alternative further reducing health risks due to meats high amount of dangerous saturated fat.
HDL vs LDL
HDL is considered “good” cholesterol, while LDL is considered “bad.”
This is because HDL carries cholesterol to your liver, where it can be removed from your bloodstream before it builds up in your arteries. LDL, on the other hand, takes cholesterol directly to your arteries.
An HDL level of 60 or above is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, and below 40 is associated with a higher risk.
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