High cholesterol: The cheap food that can ‘remove bad cholesterol from the body’ in weeks

This Morning's Dr Chris discusses the signs of high cholesterol

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High cholesterol, just like high blood pressure, doesn’t cause many symptoms. Without warning, too much of this substance can wreak havoc in your arteries and trigger heart disease and stroke. Registered nutritionist from LegumeChef May Simpkin has named the top food group for lower cholesterol.

New statistics from the NHS share that high cholesterol targets more than 40 percent of people in the UK.

In case you’re not aware, this condition describes a build-up of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood.

This can lead to your blood vessels getting blocked and other serious health problems.

While an unhealthy diet rich in saturated fats can set the condition off, the opposite can help undo the damage.

Simpkin shares that the food that can help is legumes, with beans being especially potent.

The nutritionist said: “Regularly including legumes in your diet can help to lower the amount of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in your body.”

Also known as “bad” cholesterol, this is the culprit putting you at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

She continued: “Luckily, it’s really easy to incorporate legumes into your diet.”

The goodie making the food group so effective at fighting cholesterol is soluble fibre.

Simpkin explained: “Legumes act as a ‘carrier’ that can remove bad cholesterol from the body.

“They also help to reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the intestines into the bloodstream, while also promoting the growth of the beneficial gut bacteria in the large bowel.”

Cholesterol-busting legumes “particularly high” in soluble fibre include:

  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Lentils.

“Most legumes are interchangeable, so don’t be afraid to vary the colours, shapes, and sizes you include in your meals,” the expert added.

When it comes to beans, the little pulses can cut your cholesterol in just six weeks.

The nutritionist said: “Beans have an extraordinary ability to lower LDL cholesterol in the body.

“A study from Canadian researchers found that one portion of legumes a day over a six-week period was able to lower cholesterol by five percent.”

Based on this research, all you need is a 100-gram serving of beans or pulses daily.

How to add legumes to your diet

Even though beans seem to be especially good at the job of cutting cholesterol, keeping things varied can help.

“Whether it’s beans on toast for breakfast, a black bean salad for lunch or a chickpea curry for dinner, there are endless ways we can incorporate beans and pulses into a well-balanced diet,” Simpkin noted.

However, she also has a tip for those who want to start with that “easy first step”.

She said: “You can start to incorporate beans gradually in your diet; use lentils for example, in place of meat in a pasta sauce and consider adding beans or pulses to stews, curries, or sprinkled onto salads.”

Remember, the main rule is to keep your diet balanced and eat legumes regularly.

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