How to manage your cholesterol

Excess bad cholesterol can lead to heart disease or stroke, so take into account a few steps to manage your cholesterol levels.

Superfruits: Following recent nutritional studies, several fruits have been labelled ‘superfoods’ due to their ability to combat harmful fats and reduce bad cholesterol. For instance, it was recently revealed that strawberries have the ability to reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein), the harmful form of cholesterol, by nearly 14 per cent, according to research carried out by Universita Politecnica Delle Marche in Italy.

* Unsaturated fats: Consuming omega-3 essential fatty acids, found in unsaturated fats, will help to lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Unsaturated fats include oily fish, nuts and seeds, ground flax seeds, olive oil and certain vegetables and fruits such as avocado.

* Fibre: Beans, pulses, vegetables, cereal and whole grain breads all have a high fermentable fibre content and are therefore difficult for the gut to digest so they attach to bad cholesterol and then remove it from the body via waste.

* Red wine: Red wine contains a plant compound called saponin which blocks the body’s absorption of bad cholesterol, LDL. This news is not an excuse to drink large quantities of red wine and I do not recommend adding red wine to your diet purely for health reasons since alcohol consumption can lead to further health complications such as high blood pressure and liver disease.

Source: the hindu

Eat strawberries to lower bad cholesterol

A rich source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, strawberries offer a range of health benefits.

Adding to the long list is a recent study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, which found that incorporating strawberries into your daily diet could help lower cholesterol and boost cardiovascular health.

Researchers from the Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy and their colleagues from the Universities of Salamanca, Granada and Seville (Spain) studied 23 healthy volunteers over a month. 500g of strawberries were added to their daily diets and blood samples were taken before and after the experiment.

At the end of the study, the high-density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) levels remained unchanged, whereas low-density lipoproteins (LDL or bad cholesterol) and the quantity of triglycerides fell to 8.78 percent, 13.72 percent and 20.8 percent respectively.

Other parameters such as the general plasma lipid profile, antioxidant biomarkers (such as vitamin C or oxygen radical absorbance capacity), antihemolytic defences and platelet function also improved at the end of the study. However, all parameters returned to their initial values 15 days after abandoning the ‘treatment’ with strawberries.

The flavonoids and antioxidants in the fruit prevent buildup of bad cholesterol which can clog the arteries among other cardiovascular benefits.

Including this power packed fruit in your daily diet helps boost immunity, protects against infections, regulates blood sugar levels, suppresses growth of cancer cells, slows down ageing process, prevents hair loss and boosts brain power.

So if you’re not already a fan of red, juicy, heart-shaped delights, then it’s high time that you add it to your daily diet.

Source: Zee news