High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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Dubbed as a silent killer, high cholesterol can quietly build up in your arteries, hiking your risk of heart disease and stroke. While too many decadent cakes and fatty meats could send your cholesterol levels to sky heights, there are healthier alternatives that not only taste great but also lower your cholesterol levels. An expert has shared how to enjoy warming, tasty meals this winter, while keeping your levels in check.
Characterised by their crisp texture and sweet flavour, pears and apples offer more than a tasty snack.
Leading nutritionist Rob Hobson has partnered up with British Apples and Pears for National Cholesterol Month in October to highlight how the fruits could help bust your cholesterol levels.
Express.co.uk spoke to Hobson about how to incorporate these two fruits in warming recipes that will keep the fatty substance in check.
Hobson said: “Fruit pies are a good idea and if you are making them at home, then you can control the amount of sugar you use, while also using oats to make the topping – oats are another good cholesterol-lowering food.
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“Try to keep the skins on the apples [and pears] to retain the whole fruit.
“However, you may not get a whole fruit in a serving so this would be alongside intake elsewhere.”
If fruit pies don’t sound like something you can manage on a daily basis, Hobson also offered an idea for a savoury alternative with a kick of sweetness.
He said: “You could try adding sliced apples to savoury stews and casseroles.”
And the list doesn’t end there. From adding apples and pears to your porridge to having them baked with dried fruits and nuts, you can enjoy the cholesterol-lowering effects in various ways.
When it comes to the potent part of these fruits, Hobson explained that their power relies in bioactive compounds called flavonoids and dietary fibre.
He said: “The key cholesterol-lowering ingredient in apples and pears is fibre, particularly a soluble type called pectin.
“[This] binds with LDL [bad] cholesterol in the gut and removes it from the body.
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“Apples and pears also contain antioxidant polyphenol compounds which according to research seem to have a role to play in lowering cholesterol.
“[Plus], they are also really affordable fruits, making their consumption a cost-effective way to help protect your heart health.”
If this all sounds too good to be true, you don’t have to only take Hobson’s word for it.
Research, published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, also echoes the benefits of eating apples for your cardiovascular health.
Hobson said: “They found that eating whole apples was associated with a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease – of course this is as part of a balanced diet overall.
“They showed that eating whole apples increased HDL (good) cholesterol and improved endothelial function.”
Furthermore, the research also highlights that the sweet fruit can also reduce your cholesterol.
To get these benefits, the research concluded that eating 100 to 150 grams of apples a day should do the trick.
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