High cholesterol: Best milk type to consume to lower your levels – zero saturated fat

This Morning's Dr Chris discusses the signs of high cholesterol

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High cholesterol means you have too much cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol – a waxy substance that’s produced inside the liver and by eating food – performs many important roles in the body. However, LDL cholesterol, which is dubbed the “bad” cholesterol, can clog up your arteries if you carry too much of it in your blood. For those wanting to lower their levels choosing what type of milk can be a conundrum due to the high volume of choice.

With only 80 calories and only 2g of fat per one-cup serving, plain, light soy milk is one of the best choices for people who are concerned about their cholesterol.

This is because the source of soy milk is a plant has no cholesterol and only negligible amounts of saturated fat.

Whole-fat dairy products on the other hand can have many unwanted health effects including increasing a person’s LDL cholesterol levels.

They are also high in saturated fat and cholesterol. 

Three of the best types of plant-based milk for high cholesterol include:

  • Walnut milk
  • Almond milk
  • Pistachio milk.

Almond milk is a great choice for lowering cholesterol levels due its zero saturated fat content.

For the healthiest option, people should opt for unsweetened almond milk.

Unsweetened almond milk contains between 30 and 40 calories per one-cup serving.

Much like soy milk, because it is plant-based it contains no cholesterol.

However, it is much lower in protein than cow’s milk and some other milk alternatives.

There are many plant foods that provide HDL, all of them tasty and versatile, as they can be integrated into different meals and times of the day.

These include:

Nuts: especially walnuts, almonds, and pistachios.

Seeds: Flaxseed, chia, and pumpkin seeds which are excellent sources of beta-glucan, fibre, and omega

Other vegetable ingredients such as soy lecithin, vegetable oils which are rich in polyunsaturated fats.

Other important dietary tips

“It’s much more important to cut down on foods which contain saturated fats,” advises cholesterol charity Heart UK.

Why? “That’s because saturated fats affect how the liver handles cholesterol. So, eating saturated fats can raise your blood cholesterol.”

Saturated fat is found in:

  • Butter, ghee, suet, lard, coconut oil and palm oil
  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Fatty cuts of meat
  • Sausages
  • Bacon
  • Cured meats like salami, chorizo and pancetta
  • Cheese
  • Pastries, such as pies, quiches, sausage rolls and croissants
  • Cream, crème fraîche and sour cream
  • Ice cream
  • Coconut milk and coconut cream
  • Milkshakes
  • Chocolate and chocolate spreads.

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