High cholesterol: The three supplements which could help lower your levels
High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
High cholesterol does not usually operate in isolation – the waxy substance is often accompanied by high blood pressure. Both high cholesterol and high blood pressure perform a similar function. They narrow and harden the arteries that supply blood to your heart. When this happens, the heart has to strain much harder to pump blood through them, thereby raising your risk of heart disease.
Beta-glucan is a type of fibre that forms a gel which binds to cholesterol in the intestines. This helps limit the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed from the gut into the blood.
“Beta-glucans help to lower cholesterol levels by slowing food transit in the intestine, so the body takes longer to digest food. This means that cholesterol isn’t absorbed as quickly,” said Patel.
Beta-glucan can be found in foods such as oats and barley, but it can also be taken as a supplement.
“Lifestyle and dietary changes should always be the first step in the management of high blood cholesterol,” said Benecol nutritionist Sarah Franciosi.
“Making some simple dietary changes such as replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat, eating more fibre, and introducing products with added plant stanols can all help to bring cholesterol levels back to within a normal healthy target range.”
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Artichoke leaf extract supplement
Derived from artichokes this supplement has been traditionally used to treat ailments such as jaundice, acid reflux and liver disorders.
It is thought that artichokes may indirectly interact with the same protein that statins interact with to lower cholesterol.
Artichoke leaf extract supplements also contain antioxidants, and these chemicals play a role in lowering oxidation of LDL which contribute to atherosclerosis.
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Known for its distinctive odour, garlic has many health benefits including alleviating digestive problems and lowering the clotting properties for blood.
Garlic is one of the most widely purchased herbal supplements used to lower cholesterol levels.
Research involving both animals and humans suggest that garlic can lower cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels.
When it comes to certain foods which could help lower your cholesterol these include:
Certain foods can also help lower cholesterol
Dietician Helen Bond said: “Cholesterol can change quite quickly, which is why exercise and eating healthy should be embedded into your everyday routine.
“But we’re talking a few weeks, rather than days – the odd meal or day where you eat a bit more than usual (including too much saturated fat) won’t make a difference to your cholesterol levels in the long run, but if your healthy eating and exercise habits have totally gone out the window during the lockdown, this could have a big impact on your cholesterol levels and your weight.
“Therefore, if your habits have changed over lockdown, now’s the time to reinstate healthy eating habits and get daily exercise (within UK Government guidelines to stay active and stay safe) before those new overindulgences become a habit that’s hard to break.”
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