High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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It can be difficult to spot high cholesterol as it doesn’t cause many symptoms. But having high levels can make you prone to heart problems or strokes. These serious conditions can be life-threatening, so it’s important to keep your levels in check.
Cholesterol is mainly triggered by eating too much fatty food and making poor lifestyle choices.
However, switching this up can help slash your high levels, the NHS explains.
The creamy food which can lower your cholesterol is plant-sterol yoghurt.
Plant sterols, also known as phytosterols, naturally occur in parts of all plants.
They are mainly present in vegetable oils but can be also found in nuts, legumes, grains and cereals.
Food companies then use these cholesterol-lowering goodies to fortify various foods, including yoghurt.
That’s why a simple product like plant sterol-enriched yoghurt can slash your cholesterol levels.
What happens in your body after you eat plant sterols?
After you eat these fortified foods, they get absorbed from the intestines into your bloodstream.
Here, the plant goodies block some of the cholesterol from being absorbed.
This happens because plant sterols are similar to cholesterol in their chemical structure.
And this similarity is what makes the fatty substance compete with the plant compound for absorption.
This whole process can “significantly” lower your levels, according to food brand Flora.
This cholesterol-lowering ability is also backed by research.
National Heart Foundation of Australia reports that plant sterols have been shown to cut cholesterol by about 10 percent.
However, the effect of this reduction also depends on your age and metabolism.
What’s more, once you cut the fatty substance, you will also subsequently lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
There’s one catch – only people with high cholesterol levels can benefit from eating plant-sterol enriched yoghurt, Heart UK explains.
When it comes to how much yoghurt you need to eat, the charity advises opting for one to three servings of enriched foods daily.
If yoghurt isn’t your thing, there are also other products, such as butter, dairy drinks and more.
In the UK, brands like Flora and Benecol offer plant sterol enriched products.
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