High cholesterol: The ‘most effective single food’ that could lower levels by 10%

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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This condition affects almost 40 percent of Britons, suffering from either high or borderline high levels of “bad” cholesterol. What’s worse, the fatty substance can trigger heart disease and strokes. One way to lower your cholesterol is by switching up your diet.

Your body needs some cholesterol to function properly.

The problematic part of the substance is the so-called LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, better known as “bad” cholesterol.

This type is responsible for hiking your risk of serious health conditions.

This is where your diet steps in, with the ‘‘most effective single food” to lower your levels being plant sterol products, according to Heart UK. 

Unlike other cholesterol-busting foods, plant sterol products aren’t fruits and vegetables.

Characterised by their creamy texture, these products include butter, yoghurt and dairy drinks.

Even though normal dairy food products contain saturated fats which can raise your cholesterol, plant sterols can make a difference.

What are plant sterols?

Plant sterols, otherwise known as phytosterols, occur in parts of all plants.

Foods like nuts, legumes, grains and cereals are naturally packing these goodies.

So, how do they get into your dairy products? Food companies started fortifying foods with plant sterols to achieve cholesterol-lowering effect.

Once you eat plant sterols, they get absorbed from your bowels to your bloodstream.

Here, they can block some of the cholesterol from being absorbed.

The reason why plant sterols are able to do this is due to the similarity of their chemical structure to cholesterol.

This makes the plant goodies compete with cholesterol for absorption, consequently lowering your levels.

According to the National Heart Foundation of Australia Foods, they are able to cut cholesterol by as much as 10 percent.

And some experts believe plant sterols are “the most effective single food for lowering cholesterol”, as reported by Heart UK.

However, there’s a catch. Their ability to lower cholesterol depends on a person’s age and metabolism.

Also, these products are only offering the effect to those with high cholesterol levels, Heart UK notes.

Remember, not all yoghurt, butter and dairy drinks bust cholesterol. You have to look for specific products that contain plant sterols.

In the UK, brands like Flora and Benecol have a plant sterol food range.

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