How Do Good And Bad Cholesterol Affect The Body
High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is the good cholesterol. The benefit of HDL lies in the fact that it carries bad cholesterol back to the liver. In doing so, it cleanses cholesterol from the bloodstream.
Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, is the bad cholesterol. The higher the level of LDL cholesterol, the greater your risk of a heart attack. When the level of LDL cholesterol goes up, excess cholesterol can build up and stick to the walls of your arteries. This causes damage. The buildup is called plaque, and the formation of plaque can cause arteries to harden and narrow. This hardening is called atherosclerosis. It’s also known as hardening of the arteries. If a plaque becomes unstable, a blood clot can form, suddenly blocking an artery. This causes a heart attack or stroke.
Diet Is An Important Way To Lower Your Cholesterol
High LDL levels are often the result of a diet rich in saturated fats or trans fats.
Saturated fats are found in things like:
- Whole-milk dairy products
Trans fats are frequently found in highly processed foods.
The largest impact on our cholesterol levels comes from replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, says Kevin Klatt, PhD, RD, a nutrition researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Eliminating these foods from your diet is a good first step in improving your LDL.
The second step is to add in foods that help lower your LDL. One important category is foods that contain heart-healthy fats, such as a number of fatty fish, and plant-based fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, and plant-based oils.
Another important group of foods are those that contain soluble fiber, which can be found in certain fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Soluble fiber works by binding to bile, which contains cholesterol, and removing it from the body.
A high fiber diet has been shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol, says Julia Zumpano, RD, a dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic.
In addition to containing soluble fiber, plant-based diets have been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, as reported in a study published in the August 2019 Journal of the American Heart Association.
Here are eight foods that can help lower your cholesterol.
Breakfast Recipes To Help Lower Cholesterol
When it comes to choosing recipes that can help lower your cholesterol, there are a few key things to look for. According to Mayo Clinic, you’ll want to focus on foods like fish and omega-3 fatty acids, high-fiber foods, nuts, and olive oil.
Harvard Health adds that along with the foods mentioned above, things like citrus fruits, apples, and whole grains can help significantly. They note that overall, incorporating a more vegetarian diet with most of your protein from plants can help lower your cholesterol levels.
With these tips in mind, we gathered some of our healthiest breakfast recipes that you can try to help lower your cholesterol. Continue reading to pick your next breakfast meal, and for more healthy recipes, make sure to check out 10 Oatmeal Recipes to Help Lower Cholesterol.
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Dark Chocolate And Cocoa
Cocoa is the main ingredient in dark chocolate.
It may seem too good to be true, but research verifies the claims that dark chocolate and cocoa can lower bad LDL cholesterol .
In one study, healthy adults drank a cocoa beverage twice a day for a month.
They experienced a reduction in bad LDL cholesterol of 0.17 mmol/l . Their blood pressure also decreased and their good HDL cholesterol increased .
Cocoa and dark chocolate also seem to protect the bad LDL cholesterol in your blood from oxidation, which is a key cause of heart disease .
However, chocolate is often high in added sugar which negatively affects heart health.
Therefore, you should use cocoa alone or choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 7585% or higher.
The effect seems strongest in people with high cholesterol.
SummaryThere is some evidence that soy foods can reduce heart disease risk factors, especially in people with high cholesterol.
Causes Behind High Cholesterol Levels
High blood cholesterol is very risky for our heart. But what causes it to increase on an alarming level? Obesity, unhealthy diet, genetics are said to be some of the common causes but there are other factors as well which affect your cholesterol levels. So lets discuss all of them.
- Obesity or being overweight
- Some medicines
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Are Black Beans Healthy Nutrition Benefits And More
Black beans originated in South America and are a staple ingredient in Latin American and Caribbean cuisine.
In addition to being nutritional powerhouses, they offer numerous health benefits including improved blood sugar control and reduced risk of developing certain chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes .
This article takes a closer look at black beans, their nutrition, their benefits, and how to prepare them.
- Folate: 64% of the daily value
- Copper: 40% of the DV
- Thiamine: 35% of the DV
- Manganese: 33% of the DV
- Magnesium: 29% of the DV
- Iron: 20% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 19% of the DV
- Potassium: 13% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 7% of the DV
- Calcium: 2% of the DV
- Selenium: 2% of the DV
As you can see, black beans are exceptionally high in fiber and plant-based protein, two nutrients that help lower chronic disease risk and that many Westernized diets lack .
Their protein is highly digestible, with a digestibility of 79%. In fact, black beans are considered an ecologically sustainable protein source compared with animal-based sources .
This nutritious legume provides both soluble fiber, insoluble fiber, and resistant starch, all of which are associated with many of its benefits .
Black beans also provide calcium, selenium, and numerous B vitamins. However, their overall mineral content can vary greatly depending on the beans origin .
Black beans have several health benefits to offer, generally linked to their antioxidant and fiber content.
Are Baked Beans Processed Food
This includes baked beans, tinned soups, meat alternatives, soy and drinks used as dairy milk substitutes. It can be tricky to identify food that has been ultra-processed because in some cases the same type of food could be minimally processed, processed or ultra-processed, depending on how its been made.
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Are Canned Beans Bad For You
Beans are super healthy, full of vitamins and minerals, protein-packed, and fiber-rich. But canned beans can be high in sodium, which is a problem for those with high blood pressure and those who want to avoid it. According to Dr. Gourmet, there are 400-500 mg of sodium in a 1/2 cup of canned beans.
How Are They Made
Beans are partially cooked and canned under high heat and pressure.
In industrial bean canning, the dried beans are first rehydrated with hot water at 167185°F . This process simultaneously kills any microorganisms on the surface of the beans.
They are then treated with any food additives, including salt, and canned under high pressure and heat, as detailed in this video. The video shows a production process for canned baked beans, but plain canned beans go through a similar cooking and preservation process.
Studies have shown that canning reduces the polyphenol content of the beans. Polyphenols are beneficial plant compounds that are naturally found in beans and can have protective effects in your body .
Canning also changes the weight and color of some beans and may slightly reduce their protein content .
Manufacturers of canned beans cook the beans partially and then add food additives and use treatments to reduce microorganisms. Then they can the beans and put them under high pressure and heat.
However, these versatile, nutrient-dense foods may reduce the risk of chronic disease and offer other health benefits too (
Here are some of the benefits of canned beans.
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Soy Nuts And Hazelnuts
A quarter-cup of roasted soy nuts has a whopping 3.5 grams of soluble fiber. Hazelnuts, which are a type of tree nut, provide 1 gram of soluble fiber. These nuts can be eaten alone as a snack or added to cereal or baked goods.
Have a tree nut allergy? Sunflower seeds are a good alternative, also providing 1 gram of soluble fiber in a quarter-cup.
Are There Ways To Manage High Cholesterol Levels
Yes, there are ways to manage high cholesterol levels, including the following:
If your cholesterol is high, it will take time and effort to improve your cholesterol levels and cholesterol ratio. You should count on at least three months of lifestyle changes and possibly taking daily medication. The results, though — a healthier heart and lower risk of heart attack or stroke — are well worth the effort.
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List Of Foods To Avoid To Lower Cholesterol
While certain foods can help to lower cholesterol levels, some are best avoided in order to keep your cholesterol levels in check. Heres the list of some of the foods to avoid to keep your cholesterol level under control.
Don’t Know Beans About Lowering Cholesterol
Cutting your cholesterol level up to 20 percent may be as easy as bean pie.
Actually those three things are only about half true.
Your body makes cholesterol on its own. Good thing, because it serves some useful purposes in the body: cell structure, nerve function and so forth. Secondly, unless you eat no animal products whatsoever, you can’t avoid it in your diet. And third, you really only want to lower the bad cholesterol — the LDL stuff. HDL cholesterol, the good kind, is OK at higher levels.
Since the advent of statin drugs, most people don’t worry very much about their cholesterol levels. The drugs are very effective at lowering bad cholesterol and while that’s good, some people feel they have a pass to return to eating a crappy diet. But these drugs aren’t without their side effects, like short term memory problems, muscle weakness and others.
Did you know there are foods that will absolutely help lower cholesterol? But by how much? It depends on how much of them you eat. Foods like oatmeal, soy protein, almonds and plant sterols , along with fruits and vegetables each lower serum cholesterol a bit — several percentage points. That’s fine, but if you include them all together, there seems to be an additive effect.
If you’d rather get some serious cholesterol lowering without having to go completely vegan, there is hope on the way — and you’ll like this news.
Here are some tips to get you started lowering your cholesterol without going near a pharmacy:
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What Are The Healthiest Baked Beans
We Taste-Tested 10 Different Kinds of Baked BeansHere Are the Best
- 365 Everyday Value Organic Baked Beans.
- Amys Organic Vegetarian Beans.
- B& M Original Baked Beans.
- B& M Vegetarian Baked Beans.
- Bushs Best Original Baked Beans.
- Bushs Best Vegetarian Baked Beans.
- Campbells Pork & Beans.
Foods That Can Lower Your Bad Cholesterol And Up Your Good
If you are worried about your cholesterol levels, one of the best changes you can make is switching up your diet to include more heart-healthy foods. Avoid eating fried and processed foods, which often have high levels of cholesterol and unnatural ingredients as a way to reduce your levels of LDL or bad cholesterol. While this strategy can help reduce your bad cholesterol, there are also things you can do to boost your levels of HDL good cholesterol, which carries bad cholesterol from the arteries to the liver for removal from the body.
Here are some foods that can up your HDL, lower your LDL and lower your overall cholesterol levels in turn, which is good for the cardiovascular system:
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Black Beans Vs Pinto Beans
Pinto beans are another bean variety commonly consumed in Mexico. They share many similarities with black beans.
In terms of nutritional content, boiled pinto beans provide virtually the same amount of protein, carbs, fiber, and fat as black beans. They also offer a similar mineral content, with slightly higher amounts of folate, calcium, and copper (
This means you should feel free to choose pinto beans over black beans if you like them better youll still enjoy the same health benefits.
Potential Downsides Of Canned Beans
Canned beans have an impressive nutrient profile and are generally safe.
One 2020 study in Nigeria found that some canned foods contained environmental contaminants. However, this study focused mainly on canned meats and fish and made only minor mentions of canned beans .
Its important to note that these results were from only one study and more research is needed.
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Olive Oil And Avocados
Extra virgin olive oil is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which is supportive of heart health and can increase your HDL. Avocados have similar properties. Extra virgin olive oil and avocados should be used as staple fat in a heart-healthy diet to replace saturated fats like butter, margarine and white condiments like mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese, says Zumpano. When you start to utilize plant-based fats to replace animal fats, that will help lower your cholesterol and improve your overall heart health.
Add These Foods To Lower Ldl Cholesterol
Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.
1. Oats. An easy first step to lowering your cholesterol is having a bowl of oatmeal or cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram. Current nutrition guidelines recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day, with at least 5 to 10 grams coming from soluble fiber.
2. Barley and other whole grains. Like oats and oat bran, barley and other whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, mainly via the soluble fiber they deliver.
3. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That’s one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.
4. Eggplant and okra. These two low-calorie vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber.
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Putting Together A Low Cholesterol Diet
When it comes to investing money, experts recommend creating a portfolio of diverse investments instead of putting all your eggs in one basket. The same holds true for eating your way to lower cholesterol. Adding several foods to lower cholesterol in different ways should work better than focusing on one or two.
A largely vegetarian “dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods” substantially lowers LDL, triglycerides, and blood pressure. The key dietary components are plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains instead of highly refined ones, and protein mostly from plants. Add margarine enriched with plant sterols oats, barley, psyllium, okra, and eggplant, all rich in soluble fiber soy protein and whole almonds.
Of course, shifting to a cholesterol-lowering diet takes more attention than popping a daily statin. It means expanding the variety of foods you usually put in your shopping cart and getting used to new textures and flavors. But it’s a “natural” way to lower cholesterol, and it avoids the risk of muscle problems and other side effects that plague some people who take statins.
Just as important, a diet that is heavy on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts is good for the body in ways beyond lowering cholesterol. It keeps blood pressure in check. It helps arteries stay flexible and responsive. It’s good for bones and digestive health, for vision and mental health.