Heart health: These foods permanently lower cholesterol levels

Meta study confirms the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering foods

Cholesterol is an important component of the cells and fulfills various protective functions in the body. In addition, the fat-like substance makes the cell envelope flexible and supple and is involved in fat digestion, hormone production and the production of vitamin D. If certain levels of cholesterol (LDL) are permanently too high, this can lead to dangerous vascular diseases. Certain foods can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. This has also been confirmed by Canadian nutritionists who recently examined seven studies on the subject.

The so-called portfolio diet is a nutritional concept that was developed to lower the harmful LDL cholesterol level. Harvard University already presented the nutrition plan in a study in 2011. A team of Canadian researchers led by Laura Chiavaroli from the University of Toronto has now reviewed the results of the concept in a comprehensive meta-analysis from seven studies. The results were recently published in the journal "Progress in Cardiovascular Disease".

The harmful LDL cholesterol

In order to transport cholesterol in the body, this is bound to certain proteins. The so-called low density lipoprotein (LDL) supplies the cells with the necessary fats. If there is too much LDL, fat molecules can accumulate on the walls of the vessels, which has a negative effect on blood flow. When talking about high cholesterol levels, this primarily means the harmful LDL cholesterol. The higher the LDL content in cholesterol, the greater the risk of arteriosclerosis, the so-called arteriosclerosis. What starts as a circulatory disorder can develop into peripheral arterial disease (PAD), stroke, or heart disease such as coronary artery disease (CAD) or even a heart attack over time.

Clear results

In summary, analysis of the controlled studies showed that the portfolio diet leads to clinically meaningful reductions in poor LDL cholesterol if the diet is followed consistently. On average, the harmful values ​​decreased by 17 percent and thus the risk of developing coronary heart disease decreased by 13 percent.

Which foods are part of the portfolio nutrition concept

In the portfolio nutrition pattern, foods from four different core groups are on the menu every day. These solid components should be built into the daily diet:

  • 42 grams of nuts (tree nuts or peanuts)
  • 50 grams of vegetable protein from soy products or legumes such as beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils
  • 20 grams of fiber from oats, barley, psyllium, eggplant, okra, apples, oranges or berries
  • 2 grams of phytosterols (phytosterols), for example contained in sunflower seeds, wheat germ, sesame, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, but also in fortified margarine.

Many ingredients have already shown their health benefits

The ingredients of this diet have shown their health benefits in other recent studies. For example, nuts have been shown to be effective against colon cancer and heart disease. Psyllium husk helps you lose weight, fiber-rich diet relieves chronic inflammatory joint diseases and vegetable proteins from nuts and seeds reduce the risk of heart disease. For more information, read Cholesterol Lowering - the best tips and home remedies. (vb)

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