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High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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High cholesterol can often go undetected because it doesn’t produce blatant symptoms. But the consequences of this can be dire, with heart attack and stroke both heavily tied in with the condition. Combining diet and exercise is crucial for hampering these dangers. Four foods, when combined, could significantly lower bad cholesterol in weeks.

High cholesterol refers to the presence of fatty molecules in the blood, which can be broken down into two proteins: low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, neoral cena and high-density lipoprotein, i.e. “good” cholesterol.

When treating patients with high cholesterol, the first resort is often statins – a lipid-lowering drug.

These drugs, despite being largely tolerated, can produce unwanted side effects that leave many unwilling to take them.

But studies in the past have demonstrated that combining certain foods could have statin equivalent results.

In one study led by doctor Scott Harding from King’s College, researchers aimed to determine which dietary changes could deliver the most promising results.

READ MORE: High cholesterol: Indications on your toes and fingers that levels are dangerously high

A sample of 42 people with raised cholesterol took part in the investigation.

Participants were randomly dispersed into three groups, with each required to make a single dietary change.

One of the groups was asked to incorporate 75 grams of oats into their daily food intake, while another group had to include 65 grams of almonds.

The third group was simply asked to cut down on cholesterol-laden foods, focussing on replacing saturated animal fats, with plant-based ones.

Doctor Michael Mosley, who partook in the experiment, followed a separate diet conceived by doctor David J. A. Jenkins in 2002.

The diet incorporated four key cholesterol-busting dietary changes, found individually to have lowered cholesterol, according to the BBC.

The PortFolio Diet comprises oats, almonds, soy and plant sterols, all of which have different mechanisms shown to reduce LDL cholesterol.

Oats prevent cholesterol from being reabsorbed into the gut and have other known benefits for blood lipids, while soy has been shown to inhibit cholesterol synthesis in the liver.

Plant sterols block cholesterol by racing against it for absorption, and almonds contain naturally occurring plant sterols.

Legumes, vegetable oils, nuts, cereals, and seeds are good sources of plant sterols.

Doctor Mosley’s results were significant, with researchers describing them as being “on par with statins”.

After four weeks on the PortFolio diet, Dr Mosley’s total cholesterol decreased by 25 percent, while his LDL cholesterol decreased by 33 percent.

Results from the group experiments also yielded positive results.

The oats group saw an average reduction in LDL cholesterol of nine percent, but the almond group appeared to show no overall effect on cholesterol.

The group asked to lower their intake of cholesterol-laden foods saw an average decrease of 11 percent in total cholesterol and a greater reduction in LDL, at 13 percent.

Doctor Scott Harding said the findings presented a strong case for personalising nutrition to combat high cholesterol.

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