High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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High cholesterol refers to a waxy substance found in the blood. Too much of the substance can cause plaque to grow inside the arteries, causing them to narrow over time. This plaque predisposes individuals to adverse cardiac events, stroke and angina. Fortunately, one food could slash cholesterol levels by a staggering 25 percent over the course of a few weeks.
Saturated fat is an infamous source of dietary cholesterol, so health bodies advise against it.
But managing cholesterol levels does not always have to involve foregoing foods; incorporating some ingredients could deliver equally promising results.
Several types of foods have been investigated for their lowering effects on LDL cholesterol.
Some of these experiments have uncovered the potential benefits of eating edible mushrooms to treat and prevent cardiovascular disease.
READ MORE: High cholesterol: The feeling in your arms that may be signalling clogging in the arteries
In one study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology and Medicine, researchers identified three types of mushrooms that could slash levels of cholesterol by 25 percent in four weeks. The mushrooms were shiitake, maitake and enoki mushrooms.
Consuming the fungi daily led to a reduction in blood cholesterol of 25 percent after four weeks, reported the study authors.
The findings have been confirmed in a string of further studies, most of which have been conducted on animals.
VeryWellHealth explains: “Unfortunately, most studies that examine the use of mushrooms in lowering high cholesterol have been performed on animals, such as rats, rabbits and mice.
“Most of these studies only examined shiitake, Portobello, or Oyster mushrooms – some of the more popular mushrooms found in grocery stores and restaurants.”
These studies involved feeding dried mushrooms to animals over a period of one to two months.
VeryWellHealth summarises the findings yielded from the aforementioned studies, explaining that “total cholesterol levels were reduced between 10 percent and 65 percent. Triglycerides were lowered by up to 70 percent”.
Triglycerides are a type of fat that can also cause acute inflammation of the pancreas when found in high concentrations.
VeryWellHealth continues: “LDL cholesterol levels were lowered between five and 54 percent.
“HDL cholesterol levels did not appear to be affected in most studies.”
These investigations have also shown that different species of mushrooms appear to be dose-dependent.
In other words, the larger the number of mushrooms consumed, the more significant the reduction in lipids.
Researchers have put the heart-healthy qualities of mushrooms down to an ingredient known as eritadenine.
The chemical is believed to lower lipid levels by altering the way they are made inside the liver.
Another key lipid-lowering ingredient is mevinolin, which inhibits one of the enzymes responsible for making cholesterol in the body.
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