Dr Chris reveals how eyes can indicate high cholesterol levels
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Having high cholesterol means you have too much of a fatty substance known as cholesterol in your blood. The cholesterol can then block your blood vessels leading to serious problems such as strokes and heart attacks. One of the main causes of high cholesterol is eating too much fatty food.
Head of research at vegan-advocacy charity Viva! Health, Dr Justine Butler, spoke with Express.co.uk about foods that can actually reduce your cholesterol reading.
She recommended oats for breakfast.
“A small 50 gram sized serving provides nearly five grams of fibre and you can boost this by adding dried fruit, nuts, a banana or berries and soya milk,” she said.
Fibre is essential for reducing cholesterol.
It can lower the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – also known as “bad cholesterol” in the blood.
This is because fibre can form a kind of gel in your intestines, and slow digestion.
And it traps cholesterol, preventing your body from reabsorbing it into your bloodstream.
Studies have shown that regular consumption of fibre is linked with a five to 10 percent reduction in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels.
A one kilogram bag of porridge oats can be bought from Asda for 70p, meaning a 50 gram serving costs three and a half pence.
Dr Butler recommended these other foods for lowering cholesterol.
Wholegrain foods – Brown rice, wholemeal bread and wholewheat pasta can help lower cholesterol, mainly because of the fibre they contain.
The average UK adult fibre intake is 19 grams per day, well below the recommended 30 grams.
Swap refined white bread, rice and pasta for healthier wholegrain varieties.
Pulses – Peas, beans and lentils are especially rich in fibre and take a while for the body to digest, which means you feel full for longer and this helps if you want to lose weight.
There are many to choose from: kidney beans, chickpeas, red, brown and green lentils – the possibilities are endless.
Fruit and vegetables – Make sure you get at least five a day – more is better. All fruits and vegetables are low in saturated fat and provide valuable cholesterol-lowering fibre.
Nuts – Many studies show that nuts are good for your heart.
A small handful of Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts or pistachios can help reduce abdominal fat, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar as well as improving the balance of fats in the blood.
Aim for 28 grams a day, which is around a handful.
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