High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood. It is produced naturally inside the liver and comes from what you put into your body. You need a healthy balance of cholesterol to function but having too much of it can hike your risk of serious heart problems, such as heart disease.
Poor lifestyle decisions can lead to high cholesterol levels but you can also counter them by making healthier decisions.
Diet offers a robust defence against high cholesterol, with specific items shown to lower your total cholesterol.
Total cholesterol is the overall amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both “good” and “bad” cholesterol.
Recent research published in Nutrition and Food Sciences Research suggests drinking Fuji Apple Juice can land a blow to total cholesterol levels.
Fuji apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a late-ripening variety that belongs to the Rosaceae family.
The study was an experimental study that was carried out on 26 elderly people with a history of high cholesterol levels.
They were divided into two major groups. The control group received no medication, while the experimental group received the Fuji apple juice of 200 ml for 14 days.
Over the course of the study, there were no significant changes observed in the control group.
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However, total cholesterol decreased in the Fuji apple juice group, and the change was “statistically significant”, the researchers said.
“In conclusion, use of 200 ml of Fuji apple hypercholesterolemia [high cholesterol] elderly people.”
While the exact mechanisms behind the effect are not clear, are rich in pectin.
According to Harvard Health, pectin is a type of soluble fibre that lowers LDL cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol is the “bad” cholesterol that sticks to the walls of your blood vessels.
Other foods to eat
Foods fortified with sterols and stanols can also help to combat high cholesterol.
“Sterols and stanols extracted from plants gum up the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol from food,” explains Harvard Health.
According to the health body, companies are adding them to foods ranging from margarine and granola bars to orange juice and chocolate.
“They’re also available as supplements. Getting two grams of plant sterols or stanols a day can lower LDL cholesterol by about 10 percent.”
Regular exercise can also lower high cholesterol levels.
“Aim to do at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of exercise a week,” advises the NHS.
Some good things to try when starting out include:
- Walking – try to walk fast enough so your heart starts beating faster
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