Home Health Eating two pieces of this common fruit a day slashes cholesterol levels

Eating two pieces of this common fruit a day slashes cholesterol levels

If someone has high cholesterol it means they have too much of a fatty substance known as cholesterol in their blood. Over time this can build up in the blood vessels causing blockages.

For this reason having high cholesterol is a major risk factor for medical emergencies such as strokes and heart attacks.

There are several potential causes of high cholesterol, with diet being one of them.

Specifically, eating too much saturated fat can raise your cholesterol levels. However, while some foods can increase your cholesterol, others have the ability to reduce it.

According to one expert, we should be eating more of a popular fruit found in UK supermarkets for this very reason.

As reported by GloucestershireLive, nutritionist Eli Brecher explained: “Apples are a nutrient-dense fruit, containing 10 percent of your daily vitamin C intake, alongside copper, vitamin K and vitamin E.

“An apple a day is a great habit for a healthy heart as not only does the pectin help to lower cholesterol but the polyphenols in apples are linked to lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of a stroke.”

This was backed by research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2020. A study by researchers from the UK and Italy found that eating two apples a day could significantly reduce cholesterol levels.

As part of the research, 40 participants who ate two apples a day for eight weeks saw their cholesterol levels come down.

Researchers also found people had healthier, more relaxed blood vessels after eating apples daily, which is similar to an effect seen in other foods containing natural compounds called polyphenols, such as red wine and tea.

Professor Julie Lovegrove, senior author of the study from the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition at the University of Reading, commented: “It seems the old adage of an apple day was nearly right.”

Apples contain a type of flavonoid called procyanidins which have strong antioxidant properties and may lower low-density lipids (LDL or “bad” cholesterol).

The high levels of antioxidants in apples may protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and maintain brain performance.

The skin and core of the apple is also rich in pectin, a type of soluble fibre, which has been shown to improve blood cholesterol levels, a risk factor for heart disease.

However, in the studies, drinking apple juice – that does not contain pectin – did not have the same cholesterol-lowering effect.

Are your cholesterol levels too high?

A healthy level of total cholesterol in the blood is considered to be five or less millimoles per litre (mmol/l).

More specifically, a healthy level of high-density lipoprotein is one or more mmol/l.

And you should have four or less mmol/l of low-density lipoprotein.

The only way to be sure of your cholesterol levels is to get them tested. You should speak to your GP about this if you are concerned about your cholesterol levels.


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