Why Fruits and Vegetables are Essential to Lowering Cholesterol
We’ve all heard it a million times throughout our lives, “Make sure you finish all your vegetables!” We may have pondered as to what the big deal was. These little green modicum portions of matter on the side of my dinner plate never seemed too appealing to me to begin with. What was the big deal?
Well, regardless of the intentions your parents or guardian had for trying to get you to finish your vegetables, the benefits of doing so are insurmountably significant. Doing so, as well as with the addition of fruits, can greatly decrease your risk for developing cardiovascular disease. This is profound news given how prevalent this disease is sweeping across several nations around the world.
We all know that fruits and vegetables are full of various vitamins and nutrients that help your mind and body to flourish. Nevertheless, there are more to these colorful morsels that we may have been told. Fruits and vegetables are unbelievably healthy for your heart and they are significantly successful at helping you to lower your cholesterol as well, including your LDL and VLDL cholesterol.
So, what’s so great about fruits and vegetables?
Well, these foods are very unique as they contain within them high amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. This is great news to anyone who suffers from high cholesterol as fiber works to help rid your arteries of excess amounts of plaque hanging on arterial walls. This is the plaque that is deposited due to high cholesterol levels, specifically LDL cholesterol.
According to EveryDayHealth.com, “Research shows that people who increase their soluble fiber intake by 5 to 10 grams daily have up to a 5 percent drop in LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol .” This means that you can significantly improve your total cholesterol levels, as well as the overall status quo of your heart all by simply eating more fruits and vegetables.
WebMD.com gives us a clearer understanding of which foods to look out for, “Raspberries win the fiber race at 8 grams per cup. Exotic fruits are also good sources of fiber: A mango has 5 grams, a persimmon has 6, and 1 cup of guava has about 9. Dark-colored vegetables. In general, the darker the color of the vegetable, the higher the fiber content .”
So, as you can clearly see, there are tons of different options available to you to get your daily intake of fiber. Daily fiber recommendations are around 14 g per 1,000 calories . Though there are other things to take into consideration here like age, whether or not you have a heart condition, etc., you can still use this as a general rule of thumb when trying to get in enough heart healthy fiber to help lower your cholesterol.
Other great benefits fruits and veggies have to offer!
Fruits and veggies can help you to lower your triglyceride levels as well. This is due to the fact that fruits and veggies will help to keep you full longer. This is especially important for the individual who’s actively trying to lose weight. Remember, obesity is a risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease, and eating more fruits and veggies can help to reduce that risk significantly.
So often we become the victim of “lose weight quick” supplements that “promise” to help keep you full and lose weight like crazy. Why put pills into your body when you can instead replace that with nutritious fruit and vegetables? These foods are able to do this greatly due to the fact that they are comprised largely of water, which helps to keep you full. Also, fruits and veggies contain much less calories than virtually any other food ounce for ounce. For example, 100 calories of grapes will give you a much greater quantity of food versus 100 calories of beef, which would seem like a modicum portion in comparison. Being able to stay full longer will help you to stay on a healthy diet longer.
There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of different types of delicious and interesting fruits and vegetables out there. This much variety makes sticking to a healthy diet much easier than if you were restricted to only a minute selection of foods. This much diversity also helps to keep things interesting, which is also a very important factor for keeping adherence to a diet program.
Too many times we find ourselves becoming bored with our current diet, especially if we’re restricted to eating a very healthy diet due to high cholesterol levels. When this is the case, having variety with each meal is paramount to achieving, as well as maintaining success with your healthy eating habits. Eating more fruits and vegetables will allow you to lower your cholesterol due to the fiber within them, will help keep you full longer, will provide your body with vitamins and nutrients, and will add some much needed diversity to your meal regimen. The accumulation of all of these things should result in a happier, healthier heart.
- “The Best High-Fiber Foods for Lower Cholesterol”. Everyday Health. https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/managing-cholesterol/high-fiber-foods-for-cholesterol/ Accessed on Oct 2017.
- “Your Ultimate High-Fiber Grocery List”. Web MD. https://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/fiber-groceries/ Accessed on Oct 2017.
- “Fiber: How Much Is Too Much?” Everyday Health. https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/guide-to-daily-fiber/too-much-fiber/ Accessed on Oct 2017.