Cholesterol

Daily Serving of Beans, Peas, Chickpeas or Lentils Can Significantly Reduce Bad Cholesterol

Food.Bean.GreenEating one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can significantly reduce “bad cholesterol” and therefore the risk of cardiovascular disease, a new study has found.

The study, led by Dr. John Sievenpiper of the hospital’s Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre, was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Dr. Sievenpiper said that by eating one serving a day of pulses, people could lower their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by five per cent. He said that would translate into a five to six per cent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

One serving of pulses is 130 grams or ¾ cup. Pulses have a low glycemic index (meaning that they are foods that break down slowly) and tend to reduce or displace animal protein as well as “bad” fats such as trans fat in a dish or meal.

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Source: St. Michael’s Hospital. “Daily serving of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can significantly reduce bad cholesterol.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2014.

Green Tea Supports Heart Health

Food.Tea.GreenGreen tea contains antioxidants of the polyphenol family of 30% to 40%. Previous studies suggest that these antioxidant compounds exert beneficial effects on parameters of cardiovascular health. Onakpoya, from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), and colleagues who completed a meta-analysis of published randomized controlled trials, involving a total of subjects of 1,536, of green tea and its polyphenol constituents. The researchers found that green tea consumption associated with a lower average systolic blood pressure. In addition, green tea consumption correlated to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels.

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Source: WorldHealth.net

Calcium, vitamin D improve cholesterol in postmenopausal women

Support.Vitamin.DCalcium and vitamin D supplements after menopause can improve women’s cholesterol profiles. And much of that effect is tied to raising vitamin D levels, finds a new study from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) just published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

It has been debated if calcium or vitamin D can indeed improve cholesterol levels. And studies of women taking the combination could not separate the effects of calcium from those of vitamin D on cholesterol. But this study, led by NAMS Board of Trustees member Peter F. Schnatz, DO, NCMP, is helping to settle those questions because it looked both at how a calcium and vitamin D supplement changed cholesterol levels and how it affected blood levels of vitamin D in postmenopausal women.

Whether these positive effects of supplemental calcium and vitamin D on cholesterol will translate into benefits such as lower rates of cardiovascular disease for women after menopause remains to be seen, but these results, said the authors, are a good reminder that women at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency should consider taking calcium and vitamin D.

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Source: The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). “Calcium, vitamin D improve cholesterol in postmenopausal women.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2014.

Strawberries lower cholesterol, study suggests

Food.Strawberry1A team of volunteers ate half a kilo of strawberries a day for a month to see whether it altered their blood parameters in any way. At the end of this unusual treatment, their levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides were significantly reduced, according to the analyses conducted by Italian and Spanish scientists. Several studies had already demonstrated the antioxidant capacity of strawberries, but now researchers conducted an analysis that revealed that these fruits also help to reduce cholesterol.

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Source: Plataforma SINC. “Strawberries lower cholesterol, study suggests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2014.