Cholesterol: foods rich in fiber that lower its rate
Health

Cholesterol: foods rich in fiber that lower its rate

Soluble fiber, found in foods such as oats, vegetables and fruits, can help lower cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver. Cholesterol also comes from eating animal products, such as dairy and meat. The body needs a certain amount of cholesterol to function properly. However, excess cholesterol can cause health problems.

There are two types of cholesterol:

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol: People call LDL cholesterol the “bad” cholesterol because high levels of LDL cholesterol can build up in your arteries and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol: HDL is considered the “good” cholesterol because it transports LDL cholesterol from the arteries and back to the liver, where the body can eliminate it. High HDL cholesterol may help protect against cardiovascular disease.
This article looks at the effects of fiber on LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, the most appropriate types of fiber, and foods that may help improve cholesterol levels.

Does eating fiber lower cholesterol levels?

Certain types of fiber can help lower cholesterol levels. There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fiber includes some fruits, vegetables, oats, and legumes. Insoluble fiber includes whole grains, nuts and seeds. According to a 2019 study, soluble fiber helps lower blood cholesterol. Soluble fiber helps the absorption of cholesterol, which reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the liver and increases the amount of cholesterol that is excreted by the body.

Bacteria in the large intestine ferment soluble fiber into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Adding SCFAs to the gut also helps lower cholesterol. If people take statins to lower cholesterol, adding soluble fiber to their diet may make statins twice as effective.

Although insoluble fiber does not have the same cholesterol-lowering effects as soluble fiber, it has many health benefits, including:

It promotes good digestion
It sticks to toxins to remove them from the body
Reduce the feeling of hunger after eating
It can reduce the risk of developing certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Foods that lower cholesterol

There are a number of high-fiber foods that a person can try to eat to help control cholesterol levels as part of a balanced diet, including:

Oats

Oats are high in a soluble fiber called beta-glucan. Beta-glucans may have beneficial effects in lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Eating 70 grams of oats per day, which contained 3 grams of soluble fiber, decreased total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

Foods that are high in soluble fiber

Other foods high in soluble fiber may help lower cholesterol levels, including:

Broccoli
Carrots
an onion
artichoke
berries
banana
An apple
pear
Legumes such as beans and lentils
barley

Linum seed

Safe Source Whole or ground flaxseed and flaxseed hulls may help lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, especially in people with high cholesterol and in women (especially postmenopausal women). However, flaxseed oil does not appear to have any cholesterol-lowering effect.

Tomatoes

A 2021 review found strong evidence that tomatoes can help lower LDL cholesterol. Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene. Research shows that 25 milligrams (mg) of lycopene can help lower total cholesterol by about 8 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

Almonds and other nuts

Almonds have been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels. Walnuts and hazelnuts may also have mild to moderate cholesterol-lowering effects.

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Avocados may have a moderate to strong effect in lowering LDL cholesterol. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that may help raise HDL cholesterol levels, which may benefit cardiovascular health.

olive oil

Olive oil is an essential part of the Mediterranean diet and may have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels. According to a study published in the Journal of Circulation of the American Heart Association (AHA), a traditional Mediterranean diet containing extra virgin olive oil may have beneficial effects on HDL cholesterol and protect against plaque formation in the arteries.

Foods that contain phytosterols

Foods containing plant sterols or stanols, or phytosterols, may cause a moderate decrease in LDL cholesterol.

Phytosterols are found in foods of plant origin, including:

Vegetable oils and margarine
Seeds
Nuts
cereal
vegetables
the fruit
legumes

Some foods fortified with phytosterols may include:

Spreadable fat and margarine
Dairy products, such as yogurt, milk, and yogurt drinks
Nutritional supplements
Eating at least 2 grams of phytosterols per day in addition to a healthy diet can help people control high cholesterol. It is most effective to consume phytosterols twice a day with the main meal.

soy products

Soy products may have a slight effect on cholesterol levels. Some research suggests that eating soy protein may help lower total cholesterol and risk factors associated with high LDL levels.

Can fiber supplements help lower cholesterol?

According to a 2017 study, fiber supplements are not as good for your health as eating a high-fiber diet. Only specific fiber supplements can help improve cholesterol. Those that contain gelling fibers, such as psyllium or beta-glucan, may be effective in reducing high cholesterol. Ingels may also help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.

Fiber supplements that contain insoluble or non-gel fiber do not have the same benefits. This includes:

Inulin
wheat dextrin
Wheat Bran

Other ways to lower cholesterol

Other measures can help lower cholesterol levels:

Limit the intake of saturated and trans fats and replace them with unsaturated fats such as olive oil.
Increased physical activity, especially aerobic and resistance training, which raises HDL cholesterol
Maintain a healthy weight, to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol
Limit alcohol intake, which can increase triglyceride levels and the risk of heart disease
Avoid smoking, as it can lower HDL levels and increase plaque buildup in the arteries
Take medications if needed to lower cholesterol, such as statins.
Unfiltered coffee can raise cholesterol levels, so choose filtered or decaffeinated coffee instead.

Summary

High LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Soluble fiber can help the body absorb and eliminate “bad” cholesterol and can lower LDL and total cholesterol levels. Foods rich in soluble fiber include oats, barley, legumes, and many fruits and vegetables. A diet high in fiber may be more beneficial to your health than a fiber supplement, although supplements containing psyllium or beta-glucan may be beneficial.

* Presse Santé strives to impart health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In any case, the information provided cannot replace the opinion of a health professional.

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