High cholesterol: The diet shown to slash ‘bad’ cholesterol levels by 37% in weeks
High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
High cholesterol is a condition characterised by the circulation of fatty molecules in the blood, that gradually settle on the arterial walls. The longer the condition is left unmanaged, the higher the risk of plaque narrowing the arteries. Unfortunately, this process occurs silently without producing blatant symptoms. One diet has been shown to slash levels of LDL cholesterol by up to 37 percent in weeks.
Traditionally, diets that have strictly limited saturated fat have been shown to minimally lower cholesterol levels.
In fact, low-fat diets as commonly prescribed rarely produce significant reductions in LDL cholesterol.
But according to early research conducted by the Baylor University Medical Center, the Ornish diet may be an exception.
The diet – created by Dean Ornish – has long been rumoured to prevent heart disease, and in some cases reverse it.
READ MORE: Visceral fat: The snack shown to increase abdominal fat loss ‘by 81%’ – consume regularly
It consists roughly of seven percent calories from fat, up to 20 percent from protein, and the remainder from carbohydrates. The diet allows only 12 milligrams of cholesterol per day.
The authors of a report published by the Baylor University Medical Centre Proceedings noted: “This prohibition of oils, including olive and canola oil, contrasts with other low-fat diets.
“Ornish believes that all oils are fundamentally unhealthy as they contain both saturated and unsaturated fats in addition to many calories.”
The Lifestyle Heart Trial, which studied the effects of the diet, found that on average “Ornish’s patient lost 24 pounds in a year and had a 37 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol levels”, explained the authors.
They continued: “What is most provocative about this diet /lifestyle program is that there was a 91 percent reduction in angina frequency and a significant degree of […] coronary stenosis regression.
“It is unclear to what degree other lifestyle modifications, such as exercise, and stress reduction, which are integrals part of the Ornish programme, play in these results.”
Ornish meals comprise mainly plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrain and soy, which are renowned for having a lowering effect on blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Soy products have been shown to inhibit cholesterol synthesis in the liver, whereas the soluble fibre found in plant products helps drag fatty molecules out of the body.
But the Ornish also limits animal products, refined carbohydrates, high-fat foods and processed ingredients.
In severely reducing fat intake, the diet is deemed one of the most protective for the heart.
It also emphasises an addition of healthy lifestyle changes like regular exercise – which are key for managing cholesterol levels.
Similar cholesterol-lowering effects have been observed with the Portfolio diet, which comprises oats, almonds, soy and plant sterols.
Oats have been shown to prevent the reabsorption of cholesterol molecules in the gut and have demonstrated other known benefits for blood lipids.
Plant sterols, on the other hand, may lower cholesterol by raising against molecules for absorption – and almonds are a good source of the sterols.
One BBC experiment, which included Doctor Michael Mosley, showed that adherence to the diet over four weeks could decrease total cholesterol by 25 percent, and lower LDL levels by 33 percent.
Source: Read Full Article