High cholesterol: The small red fruit ‘excellent’ at lowering levels – study

Why cholesterol is bad for you

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Serious health conditions linked to high cholesterol include heart attacks and strokes. There are two types of cholesterol found in the blood, which are often referred to as “good” and “bad” cholesterol. Having “good” cholesterol, known as high-density lipoprotein, makes you less likely to suffer these complications.

Whereas “bad” cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein puts you at greater risk of this.

Grapes are known to reduce low-density lipoprotein due to the amount of fibre they contain.

This is because soluble fibres can delay or even reduce certain nutrients from being absorbed into your blood, such as cholesterol.

In fact a study published in the Food and Function journal revealed the benefits of red grapes specifically.

It found that people with high cholesterol who ate three cups of red grapes a day for eight weeks had lower total cholesterol as well as reduced low-density lipoprotein.

Researchers from the Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, in Iran, split 69 patients into three groups.

Two of the groups consumed 500 grams of either Condori red grapes or Shahroodi white grapes daily for eight weeks, while the third group did neither.

It explains: “Total antioxidant capacity was increased significantly in both red and white grape consuming groups compared to the control group.

“Total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were decreased in the red grape group compared to the control group.

“No significant changes in fasting blood glucose, triacylglycerol or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were observed among the groups.”

It endorsed eating red grapes over white.

The study concludes: “The results of this study suggest that consumption of the whole fruit of red grapes has more potent anti-oxidative and hypolipidemic effects compared to the white grapes in hyperlipidemic adult humans.

“Hence, the whole fruit of red grapes may be an excellent fruit choice not only to prevent oxidative stress related metabolic disorders but also cholesterol related cardiovascular diseases, particularly in hyperlipidemic adult humans.”

To find out if your cholesterol levels are high your doctor will need to take a blood test.

Having high cholesterol is usually linked to a number of lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise.

However, it can also run in families.

To reduce cholesterol levels the NHS advises:

  • Eating less saturated fat
  • Exercising more
  • To stop smoking
  • Cutting back on alcohol.

Foods it recommends include:

  • Oily fish, like mackerel and salmon
  • Brown rice, bread and pasta
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits and vegetables.

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