High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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Characterised by the absence of symptoms, high cholesterol can quietly build up in your arteries. And leaving your levels dangerously high can cause further health problems. That’s why many are prescribed a medication called statins to cut the levels. However, certain lifestyle tweaks could also see high cholesterol fall.
High cholesterol describes having too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood.
Cholesterol isn’t all bad. In fact, your body needs some of it to function properly.
The problematic part, raising your risk of health problems, is called “bad” or LDL cholesterol.
Fortunately, aubergine has been shown to lower cholesterol levels during research published in the journal of the Brazilian Society of Cardiology.
Aubergines are packed with vitamins, such as B1 and B6, minerals and antioxidants.
The study looked at the effect of these fruits on blood lipids in rabbits with high cholesterol.
At first, the animal models were fed a diet rich in cholesterol and coconut oil for four weeks.
Heart UK explains that coconut oil raises the levels of “bad” cholesterol due to its saturated fat content.
After following this regimen, the rabbits were given 10 millilitres of aubergine juice daily for two weeks.
The researchers found that the group who consumed this juice had a “significantly” lowered plasma cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol.
The study concluded that the fruit juice was able to reduce weight as well as cholesterol in the animal models.
Why do fruits and vegetables lower cholesterol?
The potent part of the healthy foods is their fibre content.
Heart UK explains: “It blocks some cholesterol from being absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream.
“Pulses such as beans, peas and lentils are particularly high in this kind of fibre.
“Sweet potato, aubergine, okra (ladies’ fingers), broccoli, apples, strawberries and prunes are also good options.”
They add that it doesn’t matter whether you opt for fresh, frozen, tinned or dried options.
Remember, your recommended daily target of fruit and veg is five portions and a variety is good.
Other foods that could help lower your cholesterol include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Oats and barley
- Foods with added sterols and stanols
- Foods rich in unsaturated fats (avocado and oily fish).
While foods to avoid include those rich in saturated fats, such as sausages, butter, cheese, cakes and coconut oil.
The only reliable way to find out your cholesterol levels is by having a blood test, the NHS adds.
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