High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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High levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol has devastating effects on the body. If you have high cholesterol, fatty deposits can grow in your blood vessels and bump up the threat of heart attack and stroke. But eating a specific type of bread – which is the staple part of the Chinese and Irish diet – could help.
A new study has revealed that potato bread can help slash your LDL cholesterol levels when consumed as a “staple”.
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition found steamed potato-wheat bread had the effect when eaten once a day over four weeks.
It found positive effects in 49 people who were given the bread, who were compared to 30 people that didn’t consume it.
In addition, it found that the type of bread had “significant effects” on people’s weight.
Potatoes and bread alike often get a bad rap in terms of their health effects. Some studies have shown that potatoes are positively associated with type 2 diabetes.
The food is known to have a high glycemic index. It has a high glycemic index, which is a measure of how quickly a food increases your blood sugar.
People are warned against overconsuming foods with a high GI because of their link to type 2 diabetes.
However, some studies have found that cooking the food becomes more complex when it is cooked twice – as is the case with potato bread.
Some studies have shown that repeated cooking can increase resistant starch in potatoes by 10 percent.
Resistant starches are molecules that resist digestion in a similar way to fibre. They are often consumed to help manage glucose levels.
SFGATE reports that it also contains more iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium than white bread.
The new potato bread study found that it drops LDL cholesterol by 0.22 mmol/L. According to the charity Heart UK, levels of this cholesterol should remain below 3mmols/L.
The study participants also had an average drop in BMI of -0.2kg/m2.
Although the results are promising, there is one important limitation with the study that even the authors recognise.
They explain that the duration of the intake was short – only four weeks – so it does not suggest that long-term consumption is beneficial.
Yet, a long-term study into potatoes looking at over 64,227 women in China found that those who consumed the most potatoes slashed their risk of type 2 diabetes by 28 percent – suggesting long-term consumption of potato-based foods could be healthy.
As part of the NHS’ advice for lowering your cholesterol, it recommends that you “try to eat more” bread, brown rice, and pasta.
It also suggests oily fish, like mackerel and salmon, and fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds.
On the other hand, the health body suggests reducing how many meat pies, sausages, and fatty meats you eat.
It also suggests cutting down cakes and biscuits, butter, lard, and ghee, and cream and hard cheese – such as cheddar cheese.
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