16.06.2021 – 10:57
Health Knowledge Foundation
Which foods lower cholesterol? Fruits, legumes, or nuts are among the foods that are said to be able to lower blood cholesterol. But is that also true? For Cholesterol Day on June 18, the Health Knowledge Foundation took a look at the study situation and gives tips on how a change in diet works.
Almost 60 percent of adults in Germany have high cholesterol levels. This was shown by a data collection carried out by the Robert Koch Institute from 2008 to 2011. Almost every fifth adult is severely affected by hypercholesterolemia, as high cholesterol levels are also called. Often there are no symptoms for a long time. Nevertheless, high cholesterol levels are a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. After the diagnosis, many people want a gentle treatment without having to take medication straight away. In this context, various foods are said to have a cholesterol-lowering effect. The Health Knowledge Foundation has taken a closer look at some of them and has compiled the study situation on their possible benefits. Indeed, a healthy diet can help against high cholesterol levels. It is therefore also part of the basic therapy. But should margarine, walnuts or legumes belong on the table if the cholesterol level is high?
Legumes as a cholesterol-lowering agent?
If the cholesterol level is high, pulses such as chickpeas, kidney beans or lentils are very popular as lowering agents. But can they really lower blood cholesterol? This effect was examined in a systematic review from ten randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The 268 participants consumed 80 to 162 g of different types of legumes every day. Compared to a control diet with a similar total energy and nutrient content, a reduction in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol was actually observed. However, more research is needed to assess longer-term effects of legumes on cholesterol levels in people with hypercholesterolemia.
Walnuts with high cholesterol levels?
Walnuts are also one of the natural cholesterol-lowering drugs. But what do the studies say about it? In fact, one study found that 40g of walnuts per day combined with a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet appeared to lower LDL and total cholesterol. The comparison group ate a diet without walnuts on its own for the same period that was low in fat and low in cholesterol. However, this question was only investigated in one randomized controlled study (RCT) with a small number of 37 people. For this reason and because of the quality of the study, the informative value of the results is limited.
Scientific statements on other cholesterol-lowering foods at a glance:
- Pekannüsse - Mandeln / Mandel-Öl - Probiotischer Joghurt - Leinsamen - Beta-Glucane - Margarine mit zugesetzten Pflanzensterinen - Rotschimmelreis - Direkt zu den Studienergebnissen
Concrete help with changing your diet
Changing your diet is not always easy. What can I still eat and what not? Where can I find guidance with the large selection of products? In order to keep track of which foods are actually suitable for people with high cholesterol levels, the Health Knowledge Foundation has put together an overview. However, it not only shows which foods are suitable, but also which ones are better to eat less or to avoid altogether. With this food table it can be possible to keep an eye on the (in) suitable food:
More information on this can be found in the new health information “Elevated Cholesterol Levels”: https://www.stiftung-gesundheitswissen.de/wissen/erhoehte-cholesterinwerte/hintergrund
Background to the day of cholesterol:
Cholesterol Day takes place on June 18 this year. The aim of the nationwide day of action is to draw attention to the risks of high cholesterol levels and to promote awareness of a cholesterol-lowering lifestyle.
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Original content from: Stiftung Gesundheitswissen, transmitted by news aktuell