A certain ingredient found in bread, soup, and other foods lowers “bad” cholesterol levels.
About half of all adults in the UK have high cholesterol, putting them at greater risk of serious illness. High cholesterol means there is too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in the blood. Over time, this can lead to clogged arteries, making you more likely to suffer from medical emergencies like heart attacks or strokes.
Therefore, it is vital to keep your cholesterol levels low.
One of the common causes of high cholesterol is diet.
In particular, eating foods rich in saturated fats can lead to high cholesterol levels.
However, diet can also be one way to lower your cholesterol levels.
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According to studies, barley lowers cholesterol levels.
Barley belongs to the cereal family and is a cereal grain.
It can be found in foods like bread, soup, and stews – just check the label or use it in your home kitchen.
A review of 14 existing studies published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating barley may help lower not one, but two types of “bad” cholesterol.
He concluded that the grain reduced both low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, and low-density lipoprotein, or non-HDL, by seven percent.
The researchers also found that barley has the same cholesterol-lowering effect as oats, which is often used to improve health.
One of the authors of the study, Dr. Vladimir Vuksan, told Science Daily: “The cholesterol-lowering effects of barley have been well documented and included in the Canadian strategy to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
“Health Canada, the FDA and several health authorities around the world have already approved claims that barley lowers LDL cholesterol, but this is the first review to show an effect on other harmful lipids.
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“The results are most important in populations at high risk for cardiovascular disease, such as type 2 diabetics, who have normal LDL cholesterol but elevated levels of non-HDL or apo B.
“Barley reduces total bad cholesterol in people at high risk, but may also benefit people without high cholesterol.”
A separate study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also confirmed the cholesterol-lowering benefits of barley.
In the study, 25 adults with moderate hypercholesterolemia received a controlled diet for five weeks, with barley added two weeks later.
“Total cholesterol levels were significantly lower when the diet contained three or six grams of beta-glucan per day from barley than when it did not contain beta-glucan; the biggest changes occurred in men and postmenopausal women,” the report says.
The study concluded, “Adding barley to a healthy diet may be effective in lowering total and LDL cholesterol in both men and women.”
A healthy level of total cholesterol in the blood is generally considered to be five millimoles per liter (mmol/L) or less.
Specifically, a healthy HDL level is one or more mmol/L, and you should have four or less mmol/L LDL.
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