How to live longer: The best milk to reduce high cholesterol and heart disease risk

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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High cholesterol refers to the sheer volume of fatty substances floating in the bloodstream. Known to settle along artery walls, fats can build up and harden. This process is known as atherosclerosis, which narrows the passageway of blood, restricting blood flow to tissues and organs around the body. Senior dietitian Victoria Taylor at the BHF warned that frequently adding full-fat cow’s milk into your cereal, tea and coffees can “add up” the amount of saturated fat you are consuming.

Goat’s milk also contains similar levels of saturated fat, which can raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood.

How does saturated fat affect cholesterol levels?

The cholesterol charity, Heart UK, explained: “Our liver cells have LDL receptors on them.

“When LDL cholesterol passes by in the blood, these receptors take the cholesterol out of the blood and into the liver to be broken down.

“Research suggests that eating too much saturated fat stops the receptors from working so well, and cholesterol builds up in the blood.”

Taylor added soya milk could be a good alternative to cow’s or goat’s milk.

This is because research has linked soya protein to heart-health benefits.

“Studies have shown that consuming between 15g and 25g of soya protein per day can help to reduce cholesterol levels,” Taylor elaborated.

“A 250ml serving of soya milk contains around 8g of protein,” she added.

By reducing cholesterol levels, you are reducing the likelihood of heart disease from developing.

Therefore, by consuming soya milk, you could be reducing high cholesterol and your heart disease risk.

What is heart disease?

The NHS stated that heart disease “describes what happens when your heart’s blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries”.

Symptoms of heart disease can include:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain throughout the body
  • Feeling faint
  • Feeling sick (nausea).

One of the main ways to prevent heart disease is to control blood cholesterol, the experts at the NHS confirmed.

In trying to reduce cholesterol and heart disease risk, Taylor cautions about consuming coconut milk.

“Tinned coconut milk is high in fat,” said Taylor, including saturated fat.

It’s for this reason that it should be used “sparingly” and you should seek “milk alternative” labelled coconut milk to drink.

Other ways to help prevent heart disease and high cholesterol include a healthy diet and exercising more.

Try to cut down on saturated fat consumption which can also be found in numerous foods, as well as cow’s and goat’s milk.

This includes:

  • Meat pies
  • Sausages and fatty cuts of meat
  • Butter, ghee and lard
  • Cream
  • Hard cheeses
  • Cakes and biscuits.

Instead, try to eat more foods containing unsaturated foods, such as:

  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Avocados.

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