Cholesterol and diet
About cholesterol and your diet
Changes in your diet can help lower cholesterol as well as decrease the risks of heart diseases such as heart attack or stroke. By understanding what food to avoid and what to add to your diet, you’re already one step closer to lowering your cholesterol. Lots of vegetables and fruit should always be included. Fast carbohydrates don’t necessarily increase cholesterol, but due to the fast uptake in the stomach, you will be feeling hungry quickly again – resulting in eating more food.
Foods that help lower cholesterol
NHS recommends everyone with or without high cholesterol to eat a high fibre diet. Oats and barley contains a special fibre called beta-glucan which naturally lowers cholesterol. However, in order to lower your cholesterol with beta-glucan, you need an intake of 3g beta-glucan per day. In order to get this amount from regular oats, you have to eat at least 3 big servings of porridge. This is why Betavivo has created a product that provides the daily amount of beta-glucan needed to lower cholesterol, naturally and without side-effects. The evidence shows that eating a serving of Betavivo daily lowers LDL and total cholesterol by 10-15%.
The effectiveness comes from the fact that the beta-glucan forms a viscous gel in the gastrointestinal tract. The gel binds with bile acid, which exits the body naturally. When the liver produces more bile acid, it uses the cholesterol in the bloodstream. The result is a reduction in blood cholesterol levels.
Read more about the many benefits of Betavivo oat hearts here.
Fruit and vegetables
Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, in line with the recommendations for the general population. One portion is approx. 80g or a handful. To achieve this, it is good to start already at breakfast with some fruit or berries as an addition to natural yoghurt and oat cereal.
These are considered the healthy types of fat to eat, and consists such as avocado, olives, olive oil and nuts. Omega-3 is also an example of unsaturated fat that is good for your heart and can be found in cold-water-high-fat fish such as salmon and mackerel.
Foods that should be avoided
Cholesterol in food, such as from egg and liver have very little effect on our blood cholesterol. Research is showing that instead it is eating too much saturated fat that increases cholesterol. Saturated fat is found in Butter, ghee, lard and drippings, meat and meat products with high fat content such as sausages, full fat cheese, cream, milk and yoghurt, cakes and biscuits and milk chocolate. This is all fats that we need to cut down in favor of using more vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, low fat spreads and fish.
Regularly drinking large amount of alcohol can increase cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The NHS recommends not regularly drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week, but if you do it is best to spread it over at least three days. One small glass of wine or a half pint of lager counts as one unit of alcohol.