High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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High cholesterol can wreak havoc in your arteries, hiking your risk of heart disease and stroke. This volatile nature of the fatty substance makes keeping your levels in check imperative. Fortunately, a certain type of yoghurt could do this with gusto, according to an expert.
From fried tofu cubes drowned in curry sauce to soya beans dotted around colourful salads, soya and its products have become increasingly popular.
If you are not the biggest fan of tofu or beans on their own, you can choose from a whole variety of soya products, including yoghurt.
While you might think that soya is best left for the followers of plant-based diets, Heart UK may prompt you to think again.
The charity explains that soya products could help bust your levels of high cholesterol.
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Packed with protein, vitamins and minerals, soya beans are “perfect” for a “heart-healthy” diet, according to Heart UK.
One of the reasons why these plant-based foods are beneficial for your cholesterol comes down to their low levels of saturated fat.
Saturated fat – found in the likes of sausages, cheese, butter and biscuits – is the culprit responsible for high cholesterol levels.
“Soya products are a good option for replacing foods which are high in saturated fat such as meat, full-fat cream and dairy products, and snacks such as crisps,” the charity states.
Heart UK recommends opting for around two to three servings of soya foods daily, with 150 grams of soya yoghurt representing one serving.
Research, published in The Journal of Nutrition, also found that soya can lower “bad” cholesterol levels.
Looking at 43 trials, the researchers found that, on average, eating 25 grams of soya protein per day lowered LDL levels by about three to four percent over a six-week period.
The Harvard Medical School described these findings as “a small but still significant amount”.
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Furthermore, another piece of research, published in the journal Antioxidants, found that consuming soy flour rich in the protein B-conglycinin might bring about even more potent reduction.
The research team discovered that this soy product cut high cholesterol and other lipid levels by as much as a whopping 70 percent.
The team looked at 19 soybean flour varieties, each of which contained different proportions of two proteins – glycinin and B-conglycinin.
The proportion of glycinin in these varieties ranged from 22 percent to 60 percent while the B-conglycinin ratio ranged from 22 percent to 52 percent.
What’s more, the properties of this soy flour were even more potent than simvastatin – a popular drug used to treat high levels of “bad” cholesterol and fat levels in the blood.
The study authors said: “The digested soybeans’ peptides were able to reduce lipid accumulation by 50 percent to 70 percent, and that’s very important.
“That was comparable to the statin, which reduced it by 60 percent.”
Don’t worry if you don’t feel tempted by soya yoghurt because there’s a whole variety of products to choose from, including:
- Soya milk
- Soya mince
- Soya nuts
- Edamame beans
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