HEART HEALTH

Surprising ways to lower cholesterol
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Registered Dietitian Patricia Bannan, author of “Eat Right When Time is Tight,” provides some natural foods to lower your cholesterol and protect your heart.

Strawberries

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma found that supplementing diets with freeze-dried strawberry powder was associated with an 11 percent drop in bad cholesterol in obese participants within eight weeks.  For an easier at-home version, pick up some frozen strawberries to use in a smoothie.

Broccoli

A new type of broccoli is able to reduce blood cholesterol, according to scientists at The Institute for Food Research.  Bonus: this breed contains less sulfur, so a milder taste may entice even the most devoted of broccoli objectors.

Green Tea

A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that green tea lowers LDL cholesterol by 5-6 points, in people with high cholesterol.  Although green tea capsules show a reduction in cholesterol as well, the drop is highest when drinking brewed tea.

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Lean Red Meat

Lean beef may actually help lower your cholesterol. The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, are similar to those of past research that found lean red meat as part of a heart healthy diet can lower bad (LDL) cholesterol as much as 10 percent. The beef diets included between 4 and 5.5 ounces a day of lean meats, primarily in the form of top round, chuck shoulder pot roast and 95-percent-lean ground beef. Meats were grilled, braised, or in the case of ground beef, fried.

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Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are a great, natural way to address high cholesterol.  Not only have they been shown to lower bad cholesterol, but they're small enough to incorporate into dishes for even the pickiest of eaters.  Grind them up and stir into hot cereal or a smoothie, or add a little crunch to your salad with just a sprinkling. 

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Chocolate

A study of 93 women in England showed that consuming chocolate with enhanced levels of flavonoids showed significant reductions in cholesterol.  The caveat: although flavonoids are naturally found in cocoa, most commercially available versions lack the amount used in the study.

Surprising ways to lower cholesterol

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Registered Dietitian Patricia Bannan, author of “Eat Right When Time is Tight,” provides some natural foods to lower your cholesterol and protect your heart.

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