Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in certain foods that we eat or is produced by the body as a defense mechanism against inflammatory foods. Our bodies need it to make hormones, vitamin D, and digest food.
If there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it hardens and forms a plaque inside the arterial walls making it harder for blood to flow through – putting strain on the heart. That is why high cholesterol levels lead to heart disease.
Cholesterol can be lowered by eating more foods that are high in soluble fiber and foods that contain unsaturated fats. These include apples, grapes, strawberries, citrus, berries, dark leafy greens (kale and spinach), carrots, and eggplants. So keep these handy next time you are juicing.
Other foods that help lower cholesterol include whole grains, beans, legumes, and nuts, such as oats, barley, millet, quinoa, rice, kidney beans, garbanzo, lentils, soybeans, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios.
Saturated fats and trans fats should be avoided when maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. These are primarily found in fatty meats, milk, creams, cheeses, and butter. Cigarettes and alcohol consumption can also have a negative effect on cholesterol levels.
This is just another reason why a plant-based diet is the healthiest.
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