Aubergine can help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol – expert

Why cholesterol is bad for you

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Having high cholesterol means you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. Over time this can build up and block the blood vessels. This is dangerous as it can raise the risk of serious conditions like heart attacks and strokes.

One of the main causes of high cholesterol is eating fatty foods.

Luckily other foods can also be responsible for preventing or lowering high cholesterol and one such food is aubergine.

Cheryl Lythgoe, matron at Benenden Health, spoke with about how the fruit can reduce “bad” cholesterol in the blood.

“High cholesterol rarely has noticeable symptoms,” she said.

“But if left untreated, it can increase the risk of serious problems including heart attacks and strokes.

“When trying to lose weight and lower your cholesterol, it is important to maintain a healthy, balanced diet filled with lots of grains, fruit and vegetables, and lean meat.

“You should also try to avoid processed food.

“Aubergines are a tasty food, which can easily be added to a lot of our favourite dishes.

“They contain an antioxidant that may help to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol, is a great source of fibre, and has various important nutrients which can support the immune system and brain function.

“By swapping processed foods for fresh food, you will be able to easily reduce the level of salt in your diet and this will help lower your cholesterol.”

High-density lipoprotein (“good” cholesterol) works to reduce cholesterol levels by absorbing it and carrying it back to the liver.

The liver then removes it from the body.

In contrast, low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol) is what can build up on the walls of your blood vessels and over time this causes the insides of the vessels to narrow.

Ms Lythgoe’s recommendation of aubergine is backed by a study published in the Brazilian Society of Cardiology journal.

The research, conducted on rabbits, found that aubergine juice reduced both weight and plasma cholesterol levels among the subjects.

She also shared other ways to lower cholesterol.

“Staying within the recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption will really help to reduce your chances of developing high cholesterol,” she added.

“To keep health risks from alcohol at a low level, both men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.

“Caffeine causes an instant increase in your blood pressure, so switching to decaffeinated drinks or cutting back the number of coffees you have throughout the day could have a big impact on your cholesterol health.”

A healthy level of total cholesterol in the blood is considered to be five or less millimoles per litre (mmol/l).

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