News / Health

Cholesterol-Lowering Foods May Prove Healthier

Multimedia

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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid