A diet for cholesterol: Apples can reduce LDL in the body and dairy can make it worse
By NCVC Staff | Published on Sep 23, 2023
Taking care of heart health is crucial, regardless of age. While exercise certainly helps, the real key lies in our diet. Cholesterol, in particular, plays a significant role in heart disease. In this article, we dive into the latest research to uncover what foods can promote a healthy ticker.
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The Apple Advantage: Two a Day Keeps the Heart Doctor Away
Did you know that indulging in two apples daily can reduce LDL cholesterol? LDL, otherwise known as bad cholesterol, tends to build up in our arteries, putting us at risk of heart attacks and strokes. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that apples’ polyphenol and fiber content effectively lowers LDL levels in individuals with moderately high cholesterol. This simple dietary addition fosters better blood vessel health and could have a positive impact on the heart.
It’s important to mention that this study had a small sample size of 40 participants, so further investigation is necessary. However, it’s encouraging to see how something as ordinary as including apples in our diet can potentially make a difference in our heart health.
The Dairy Dilemma: An Unexpected Risk for Heart Disease
While apples are a heart-healthy choice, dairy products come with a cautionary tale. The American Heart Association recently released an advisory on dietary cholesterol, emphasizing that saturated fats found in full-fat milk, dairy products, and animal products are the heart’s biggest nemesis.
According to Jo Ann S. Carson from UT Southwestern Medical Center, most cholesterol-rich foods are high in saturated fat, which significantly increases LDL levels. Carson suggests substituting saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats like corn, canola, or soybean oils. Additionally, it’s important to limit consumption of foods high in added sugars and sodium (salt). Although this advisory primarily targets Americans, it’s worth noting that Indian lifestyles are also embracing more saturated fats through regular consumption of cheesy pizzas, processed meats, and sugar-laden desserts. These dietary choices have a direct impact on heart health.
The Egg Enigma: A Surprising Addition to a Heart-Healthy Diet
In a twist of fate, eggs have been given a nutritional thumbs-up by the American Heart Association. Contrary to past concerns surrounding dietary cholesterol, this advisory confirms that consuming one whole egg daily does not pose a significant risk for cardiovascular disease. This means that eggs can now be incorporated into a heart-healthy diet without guilt.
So go ahead and enjoy that sunny side-up omelette for breakfast, snack on apples throughout the day, and bid farewell to saturated fats. Your heart will undoubtedly thank you.
In conclusion, maintaining a heart-healthy diet is essential for overall well-being. Apples have proven their worth by reducing LDL cholesterol, while dairy products can pose heart disease risks due to their saturated fat content. Surprisingly, eggs have been given the green light, offering a nutritious addition to our meals. By making conscious choices and prioritizing our heart health, we can lead healthier lives.
This article contains inputs from IANS.