High cholesterol: Aubergines, artichokes and beans significantly lower levels by up to 30%

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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High cholesterol is when a person has too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in their blood. The condition is one of the leading causes of coronary heart disease. Natural compounds have been proven to be useful in lowering serum cholesterol levels.

Aubergines are also rich in soluble fibre and contain chlorogenic acid which has been shown to help with high cholesterol.

In a study published in Wiley Online Library, chlorogenic acid was analysed as a cholesterol-lowering agent on rats.

The dietary consumption of chlorogenic acid was investigated by monitoring plasma lipid profile (total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein) in Sprague–Dawley rats fed with a normal diet, a high-cholesterol diet or a high-cholesterol diet supplemented with chlorogenic acid for 28 days.

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The study found that chlorogenic acid markedly altered the increased plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein

“The hypocholesterolemic effect is the primary beneficial effect given by chlorogenic acid, which leads to other secondary beneficial effects such as atheroscleroprotective, cardioprotective and hepatoprotective functions,” concluded the research.

Hypocholesterolemia is defined as total cholesterol and low-density cholesterol levels below the fifth percentile of the general population adjusted for age, gender and race.

Artichokes are low in fat while rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

They are also particularly high in folate and vitamins C and K, they also supply important minerals, such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron.

One animal study published in the National Library of Medicine, reported a 30 percent reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol and a 22 percent reduction in triglycerides after regular consumption of artichoke extract.

Another study investigated the efficacy of artichoke dry extract in patients with hyperlipoproteinemia.

The study included 143 adult patients in a double blind, randomized, placebo controlled, multi-centre clinical trial.

Patients received 1,800 mg artichoke dry extract per day or placebo over six weeks.

Changes of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol from baseline to the end of treatment showed a statistically significant superiority of artichoke dry extract over placebo.

The results showed a 18.5 percent and 22.9 percent decrease in total and “bad” LDL cholesterol, respectively.

“There were no drug related adverse events during this study indicating an excellent tolerability of artichoke dry extract,” noted the study.

“This prospective study could contribute clear evidence to recommend artichoke dry extract for treating hyperlipoproteinemia and, thus, prevention of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.”

Hyperlipoproteinemia is a common disorder and results from an inability to break down lipids or fats in the body, specifically cholesterol and triglycerides.

Beans are especially rich in soluble fibre.

They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal.

Beans are full of protein, vitamins and minerals, and are low in saturated fat.

They are also 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.

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