High cholesterol: The red juice proven to lower cholesterol and risk of heart disease

High cholesterol is part of an asymptomatic club of conditions that can lead to heart disease, a major killer both in the UK and worldwide. It does this by clogging up the arteries that supply blood to your heart. You can halt this harmful process by making healthy lifestyle decisions and the most effective is to eat a heart-healthy diet.

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Certain items have gained attention for their cholesterol-combating properties, such as pomegranate juice.

One study looked at the effects of pomegranate juice in people with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

They noted significant reductions in “bad” LDL cholesterol, as well as other improvements.

LDL cholesterol contributes to heart disease risk because it sticks to the inside of your artery walls.

Pomegranate juice has also been shown — in both animal and human studies — to protect LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation – one of the key steps in the pathway towards heart disease.

Bolstering the claims, pomegranate juice has also been shown to lower triglycerides – another type of fat found in your blood that can clog up your arteries if you have too much of it.

A four-week study in 51 people with high triglyceride levels showed that 800 mg of pomegranate seed oil per day significantly lowered triglycerides and improved the triglyceride-HDL ratio.

HDL protects against heart disease by taking the bad cholesterol out of your blood and keeping it from building up in your arteries.

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What’s more, a research analysis concluded that pomegranate juice reduces high blood pressure, another major risk factor for heart disease.

General dietary tips

To maximise the heart-healthy benefits of drinking pomegranate juice, you should combine it with a low-fat, high-fibre diet, advises the NHS.

This should include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (five portions a day) and whole grains.

“You should limit the amount of salt you eat to no more than six grams (0.2oz) a day as too much salt will increase your blood pressure,” advises the health body.

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You should also engage in regular exercise to reduce your risk of heart disease.

As Mayo Clinic explains, exercise helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight and control diabetes, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure — all risk factors for heart disease.

It also helps you achieve a healthy weight, which will also reduce your risk, notes the health body.

“A BMI of less than 25 and a waist circumference of 35 inches (88.9 centimeters) or less is the goal for preventing and treating heart disease,” it says.

“Adults should do at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week,” recommends the NHS.

Physical activity can include anything from sport to walking and gardening.

Although any aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming and dancing, makes your heart work harder and keeps it healthy, it adds.

How do I know if I have heart disease?

According to the British Heart Foundation, symptoms of heart disease vary based on what condition you have and can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Pain, weakness or numb legs and/or arms
  • Breathlessness
  • Very fast or slow heartbeat, or palpitations
  • Feeling dizzy, lightheaded or faint

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