News / Health

Cholesterol-Lowering Foods May Prove Healthier

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +

A new study out of Canada could potentially save millions of lives. Research shows that, by eating certain foods, people can significantly reduce their cholesterol and improve their chances of avoiding heart disease or stroke.

What's known as the Western diet emphasizes meat and fatty foods and people who follow it have waistlines that show it.

There's a movement now to eat healthier. It's backed by doctors, health officials, government leaders and first lady Michelle Obama, who encourages school children to get more exercise and eat fruits and vegetables. Diet and exercise are key in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is a type of fat. It helps to build and maintain cells. But there are different types of cholesterol. A type called HDL promotes heart health, while another, LDL, contributes to heart disease.

Typical advice is to minimize animal fat or fat that is solid at room temperature.  These fats are sources of LDL cholesterol. But it is also known that certain foods help lower bad cholesterol.

"Vegetables like okra, eggplant, all of these are somewhat sticky. They all take out cholesterol from the body," noted Dr. David Jenkins of Saint Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada.

Jenkins wanted to study people who followed a low fat diet that included these foods. He wanted to see if their cholesterol levels dropped more than those who just followed a low fat diet.

Bonnie Wood was in the first group.  

"The initial change was, like, just to increase the fiber content of my diet," said Wood.

A total of 350 men and women participated. All were on the verge of needing cholesterol-lowering drugs. Those who followed the enhanced diet also ate foods known to lower LDL: apples, grapes, and strawberries, certain whole grains and vegetables, nuts, olive or canola oil, beans and soy products. Six months later, researchers reviewed the results.

Those eating cholesterol-lowering foods had a 13 to 14 percent drop in LDL cholesterol. Those who followed only a low fat diet saw their cholesterol drop only three percent. Dr. Jenkins says the study should encourage people with high cholesterol.

"They can make a difference to their own LDL cholesterol levels by adherence to a good diet," noted Jenkins.

"I would prefer 100 percent to try to lower it (cholesterol) by a program of food rather than statin drugs," added study participate Bonnie Wood.

Researchers say another benefit of this enhanced low-fat diet is that people in the study also reduced their blood pressure. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid