WHAT FOODS RAISE BAD CHOLESTEROL?

Which foods raise and which ones lower LDL-c or "bad cholesterol"? Read our article and find out!


'Bad cholesterol', or LDL-c, is consistently associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes and therefore we should try to keep it low.

A recent Research which systematically evaluated the evidence on the effects of food on "bad cholesterol" levels and compared the findings, clears up our questions.

Foods that moderate LDL-c and therefore can be said to have health benefits with high standards of evidence:

Food Examples of foods Effect on LDL-c
Foods high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats and/or monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. Vegetable oils, seeds, nuts. Moderate to large reduction.
Foods high in soluble fibre. Psyllium, oats, barley. Moderate reduction.
Foods with added vegetable sterols or stanols.* Butter substitutes that claim to lower cholesterol. Moderate reduction.
Whole flaxseeds. Small to moderate reduction.
Soy. Soy protein supplements, soy-based foods (e.g. tofu, miso, soy mince). Small to moderate reduction.
Almonds. Small reduction.

*Note that phytosterols are also an independent cardiovascular risk factor as we will see in a future article and should be avoided.

Foods that increase LDL-c and therefore can be said to have negative health effects with high standards of evidence:

Food Examples of foods Effect on LDL-c
Foods high in saturated fat and/or trans fatty acids. Fatty meats (such as red meat), partially hydrogenated oils and foods cooked in them (such as commonly fried fast-food and pastries from confectionery shops). Moderate to large increase.
Unfiltered coffee.* Moderate to large increase.

*But not filter coffee.

Foods that moderate LDL-c and therefore can be said to have health benefits with moderate standards of evidence:

Food Examples of foods Effect on LDL-c
Avocado. Moderate to large reduction.
Turmeric. Moderate to large reduction.
Hazelnuts. Small to moderate reduction.
Pulses. Small to moderate reduction.
Green tea. At least a small reduction.
Dietary fibre and whole grains in general. Fresh fruit and vegetables, seeds, nuts, breakfast cereals with appropriate labelling. Small reduction.
Walnuts. Small reduction.

Foods that increase LDL-c and thus can be said to have negative health effects with moderate standards of evidence:

Food Examples of foods Effect on LDL-c
omega-3 fats from fish. Salmon, mackerel, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines. Very little increase.
Free sugars. Sugars that are either naturally present in food (e.g. honey) or added to foods and drinks (e.g. soft drinks, sweets). Small increase.
Coffee in general, instead of tea. Small to moderate increase.

These can be quickly summarised by the following figure:

-Suprastratum: The authority on health, fitness and nutrition

Sources/bibliography/more reading:

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Author: Nick Krontiris

Founder, Suprastratum

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