High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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High cholesterol means you have too much of a waxy substance called cholesterol in your blood. This fatty deposit can wreak havoc in your arteries, narrowing them and putting you at a greater risk of heart disease. Fortunately, easy lifestyle changes can help stomp the culprit out.
Cholesterol isn’t just bad for you; in fact, your body needs some of the substance to function.
The problematic part of overall cholesterol is the one dubbed “bad”.
This “bad” cholesterol hikes your risk of serious health conditions, including heart disease and stroke, the NHS explains.
One breakfast food that could help lower your levels is oatmeal, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
The health body shares that enjoying just one and a half cups of this popular breakfast option can lower cholesterol levels by five to eight percent.
In case you’re not sure about the difference between oatmeal and porridge, here’s the lowdown. Oatmeal describes a type of porridge.
While porridge can be made using rice, wheat and corn, oatmeal only contains oats, water or milk.
This is crucial to lower cholesterol, as the potent part of the breakfast is oats.
Packed with fibre, oats have been well-researched for their cholesterol-lowering benefits.
There are different types of fibre, with oats containing so-called beta glucan, Heart UK explains.
Eating just three grams of beta glucan on a daily basis can help lower your levels.
The reason why is this fibre type’s ability to form a gel-like substance which binds to cholesterol-rich bile acids in your intestines.
This process helps to limit the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed from your gut into your blood.
Remember, this is where cholesterol can build-up and damage arteries leading to other health problems.
The heart charity adds: “Your liver then has to take more cholesterol out of your blood to make more bile, which lowers your blood cholesterol.”
So, something as simple as a cup and a half of oatmeal could help reduce your cholesterol, when incorporated into a healthy diet, according to health bodies.
If oatmeal doesn’t sound like your thing, you can also opt for other oat-based products.
From a bowl of breakfast cereal to breakfast oat biscuits, there’s a variety of foods out there.
Heart UK recommends aiming for three servings of oat-based products per day to get three grams of beta glucans.
They concluded: “Foods which have a claim on the label saying they lower cholesterol will contain one gram or more of beta glucan.”
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