High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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High cholesterol refers to fatty molecules manufactured by the body that are deposited in the arteries, causing them to narrow over time. This armada of fats poses great danger to overall health because it prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching organs in need, raising the risk of deadly ailments. Diet is the mainstay of cholesterol treatment, with certain vegetables recognised for their potent cholesterol-lowering effects. According to some studies, the okra seedpod may substantially lower levels of LDL lipids.
Dietary sources are strongly recommended to protect against the progression of chronic diseases.
When it comes to cholesterol, a group of foods have been hailed as being particularly protective against the condition.
Cholesterol-lowering foods typically include plant sterols, nuts, and soy proteins, as they block the body from absorbing cholesterol.
But soluble fibre, which is found in a variety of products, may deliver the most promising results because it binds to cholesterol in the digestive tract and drags it out of the body.
READ MORE: High cholesterol: Three breakfast foods that can slash your risk of high cholesterol
Harvard Heath cites Eggplant and okra as “two low-calorie vegetables” that are “good sources of soluble fibre.”
The popular seedpod is packed with vitamin B, C, folic acid and calcium.
A string of reports circulating the internet claim the pod can lower cholesterol by up to 30 percent.
One study that bears out these claims was published earlier this year in the journal Food Science and Technology.
In their quest to confirm the cholesterol-lowering properties of Okra, researchers administered okra seed oil to hypercholesterolemic rats.
The research stated: “After inducing hyper-cholesterolemia in rats in the duration of 30 days, dried okra seed powder at a dose of 250 and 500mg/kg body weight of rats, was given to rats for 42 days.
“The results of the respective study showed 30 percent ‘significant reduction of serum LDL cholesterol levels in rats.”
The researchers concluded: “Okra seed oil plays crucial role in the maintenance of lipid profile in the body.
“It was concluded from present study that okra possess essential health benefits.”
A separate line of evidence has confirmed okra’s ability to bind to cholesterol molecules and drag them out of the body.
The pod contains a gel-like substance known as mucilage which could help the body excrete dangerous LDL cholesterol when passing stool.
The superfood is also a rich source of polyphenols, which are well-known for their ability to reduce the risk of heart disease.
How to avoid high cholesterol
Foods high in saturated fat are best known for their artery-clogging properties, but this doesn’t mean that fats should be avoided altogether.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat are deemed helpful to lower high cholesterol, protecting against heart disease and stroke.
“A largely vegetarian dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods substantially lowers LDL, triglycerides and blood pressure,” explains Harvard Health.
“The key dietary components are plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains instead of highly refined ones, and protein mostly from plants.”
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