High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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High cholesterol occurs when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is a product of the liver and your diet. Too much of this substance can block your blood vessels, increasing your risk of health problems.
Almost 40 percent of people in the UK have high or borderline high levels of “bad” cholesterol.
But not all cholesterol is bad. As its name suggests, “bad” cholesterol is the one putting you at a greater risk of heart problems and strokes.
While the “good” cholesterol can cut your risk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains.
According to research published in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, one snack which can “significantly” bust high levels is banana.
The study looked at 30 participants with high cholesterol and 15 subjects diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
These volunteers then followed a banana regimen for 12 weeks.
They consumed either 250 or 500 grams of bananas for breakfast.
After following this diet adjustment, the researchers measured the lipid, blood sugar and insulin levels of the subjects.
They found that daily consumption of bananas “significantly” lowered cholesterol in those with high levels.
They’ve also noticed an improvement in the participants’ blood sugar levels.
Even though the results look promising, the study reports it needs to be tested on a larger group of volunteers.
Why can bananas lower cholesterol?
Apart from being packed with vitamins, minerals and plant goodies, fruits, in general, can cut cholesterol levels.
The reason why these sweet snacks are able to do so is their fibre content.
Heart UK explains: “It blocks some cholesterol from being absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, aiming for five to 10 grams of soluble fibre a day should do the trick and see your “bad” cholesterol drop.
If fruit is not really your thing, vegetables also offer these properties.
Heart UK shares to follow the golden rule and opt for at least five portions of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis.
If you’re not aware, an adult portion is recorded at around 80 grams or a handful.
Remember, the most reliable way to find out your cholesterol levels is by having a blood test.
Although lifestyle changes can be effective at cutting the culprit, some people might also need to take statin medicine to avoid further problems.
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