It turns out that the old saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away is true! Researchers at Ohio State University found that LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol was lowered by 40% in women who ate one apple a day. All this in just four weeks! This is remarkably better results than many liver-stressing statin drugs. The way this works is that antioxidants found in apples stop free radicals from creating more cholesterol in the blood. (This is similar to the way statin drugs work.)
Pectin – also found in apples, citrus fruits and carrots – is a type of fiber that latches onto the cholesterol in the digestive tract. From there, it is eliminated from the body before the cholesterol is absorbed. Pectin is also a complex carbohydrate, which means it takes longer to be converted into energy than simple carbohydrates such as sugar. Pectin is often used as a thickening agent in foods, but is also found naturally in the cell walls of fruits and vegetables. Whenever possible, its best to get recommended nutrition from whole, unprocessed foods.
In addition to lowering cholesterol, eating pectin-rich foods can help to detoxify the body. It also helps to prevent spikes in blood sugar. Finally, some resources state that consuming pectin through citrus fruits is better tolerated by the body than taking it in liquid or powder form.
Who doesn’t love apples? For some people, apples are a non starter. In that case, eat any of these other cholesterol-lowering foods:
There is research to suggest that including these foods in your diet can lower LDL cholesterol by up to 20% over the course of a year. Leave us your tips and tricks to lowering cholesterol in the comments box below.