Why cholesterol is bad for you
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When it comes to staying healthy, both our blood sugar and our cholesterol levels are vital. Having high blood sugar can cause permanent damage to nerves and lead to life-threatening conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis. While too much cholesterol can cause blockages in the arteries eventually resulting in heart attacks or strokes.
One food that could potentially help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol is raisins.
A study, published in the Lipids in Health and Disease journal, found that one cup of the dried fruit lowered low-density lipoprotein – also known as “bad” cholesterol.
Researchers from universities in the US tested the results of eating raisins on a group of 34 adults.
As part of the study, some of the participants were given one cup of raisins everyday for six weeks, while others had to increase their daily steps – while the third group did a combination of both.
The paper explains: “Raisins are a significant source of dietary fibre and polyphenols, which may reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk by affecting lipoprotein metabolism and inflammation.
“Walking represents a low-intensity exercise intervention that may also reduce CVD risk.”
It found: “Systolic blood pressure was reduced for all subjects.
“Plasma total cholesterol was decreased by 9.4 percent for all subjects, which was explained by a 13.7 percent reduction in plasma LDL cholesterol.”
The study concludes: “This research shows that simple lifestyle modifications such as adding raisins to the diet or increasing steps walked have distinct beneficial effects on CVD risk.”
Separate research published in the Journal of Nutritional Science revealed that eating raisins “significantly” reduced postprandial glucose – blood sugar levels up to four hours after eating.
Researchers studied the blood sugar levels of 10 adults who were given raisins after a range of different breakfasts over a two- to eight-week period.
It found that the consumption of raisins after two specific meals was even more effective.
These were: meal R50, which consisted of 69 grams of raisins and 50 grams of carbohydrates.
And meal R20, which was 28 grams of raisins and 20 grams of carbohydrates.
It says: ”The raisin meals, R50 and R20, resulted in significantly reduced postprandial glucose and insulin responses when compared with white bread.
“Furthermore, raisins were determined to be low-glycaemic index, glycaemic load and insulin index foods.”
It concludes: “The favourable effect of raisins on postprandial glycaemic response, their insulin-sparing effect and low-glycaemic index combined with their other metabolic benefits may indicate that raisins are a healthy choice not only for the general population but also for individuals with diabetes or insulin resistance.”
Symptoms of high blood sugar include feeling very thirsty, peeing a lot, feeling weak or tired, blurred vision and losing weight.
High cholesterol does not usually cause symptoms.
The best way to determine your cholesterol levels is by having a blood test.
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