High nutrient and whole foods: FOR THE WIN! A recent study was conducted to evaluate the effects of diet on cholesterol. It was observed that people who ate food such as nuts, soy, avocado, olive oil, and oats saw a greater drop in cholesterol than those who maintained a low-fat diet.
A 6-month study was conducted in four different locations in Canada. Two groups of participants were selected and all had elevated cholesterol levels. One group was put on a diet that included foods believed to improve heart health, yet were high in healthy fats. The other group was placed on a diet that emphasized low-fat foods, including whole grains and high-fiber options.
The first group obtained their food list from a US Food and Drug Administration list. This list contained approved suggestions for better heart health. Foods on that list included olive oil, avocado, oatmeal, soy, tofu, beans, lentils, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Many of these foods contain high fat levels. However, they are natural and healthy fats.
After six months the study found that those in the first group, the participants eating options like nuts, olive oil, and soy, experienced a 13 percent drop in low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol). Those on the low-fat diet only saw a 3 percent drop in LDL levels.
This study adds validity to recognizing these healthy foods as official “cholesterol lowering foods.” This is also a major score for the war against misleading labels and processed foods. All of the foods from the heart healthy list are naturally chalked with great nutrients and full of vital health components, such as omega fats. The other group may have found themselves using items such as margarine or chemically altered food to meet the low-fat criteria. Unfortunately, many foods labeled low-fat are also low nutrient. Low-fat also misleads people to believe food is therefore healthy. Many large boxes of candy contain zero grams of fat, but few would argue that the other ingredients are healthy or beneficial to one’s health.
An old era of “health food” seems to be dying thanks to proper study and testing. Hopefully soon people will learn to truly read ingredient lists and understand what are good fats and vital nutrients. If diet components can dramatically change cholesterol levels, a new dawn of health could be upon us. Instead of reaching for the prescriptions and vitamin bottles, happy hearts and healthy cholesterol can be maintained by an avocado, nuts, and some tofu!
Via: Yahoo News
August 30th, 2011