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A diet for cholesterol: Apples can reduce LDL in the body and dairy can make it worse

Updated on:17 December 2019, 13:07pm IST
There is plenty of traditional advice telling us what is bad for our heart health. But here is what the American Heart Association has to say about it.
Meghna Kriplani
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Apples make great gaurds when it comes to cancer prevention!. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Whether you’re a millennial or a baby boomer, taking care of heart health is paramount. While you might be exercising to get your heart pumping, it’s your diet habits that make you most susceptible to heart disease. And yes, cholesterol is to blame here.

We’re sure that you’re well-acquainted with traditional advice on what’s good for your heart and what’s not. But we’re throwing science in the mix to tell what latest research recommends for a healthy ticker.

Two apples a day can keep the heart doctor away
According to a research paper published in the journal American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating two apples daily can reduce LDL cholesterol. Also dubbed as bad cholesterol, LDL builds up in the arteries making you prone to heart attacks and strokes.

Also read: Take these 7 steps to ensure your parents live a long, healthy and cardiac-disease-free life

The masterminds of the study–Researchers at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom in collaboration with scientists at Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM) Institute, Italy–found that the polyphenol and fibre content of apple reduces LDL in the body in people with moderately elevated cholesterol levels. This, in turn, promotes better blood vessel health.

While the study only took a sample of 40 people and the results must be investigated further, there is no denying that something as simple as including two apples in your diet can make a difference.

However, dairy products can put you at heart disease risk
The American Heart Association recently released an advisory on dietary cholesterol, clearly stating that saturated fats found in full-fat milk, dairy products, and animal products are your heart health’s biggest nemesis.

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Full-fat milk can add to your heart disease woes by increasing LDL cholesterol. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Most foods contributing cholesterol to the US diet are usually high in saturated fat, which is strongly linked to an increased risk of too much LDL,” explains Jo Ann S. Carson from UT Southwestern Medical Center in the US.

“Saturated fats should be replaced with polyunsaturated fats like corn, canola, or soybean oils. And foods high in added sugars and sodium (salt) should be limited,” she adds

While the advisory might have been designed to keep in mind the heart health of Americans, there is no denying that Indian lifestyles are also increasingly more and more of saturated fat. Regular consumption of cheesy pizzas, processed meat like sausages, and sugar-laden desserts all impact your heart health.

But here’s a food that we never thought would be a part of a heart-healthy diet: eggs!
In its advisory, the American Heart Association also mentioned that eating one whole egg daily can has no significant impact on cardiovascular disease risk. Basically, dietary cholesterol–which eggs have an abundance of–has been given a clear chit.

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According to the American Heart Association, eggs in moderation don’t have a negative impact on heart health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

So enjoy that sunny side-up omelette for breakfast, snack on apples throughout the day, and break-up with saturated fats. Your heart health will thank you for it.

Also read: Eat to lose weight with these 7 superfoods that can speed up your metabolism

With inputs from IANS

Meghna Kriplani Meghna Kriplani

Waging a war against diets one cookie at a time, Meghna is a content creator and editor focusing on women's issues, wellness, and lifestyle.