High cholesterol: Dark chocolate, onions, fruits and berries or lentils lower levels

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Cholesterol is not intrinsically harmful, in fact, your body needs it to build healthy cells. High levels of cholesterol are harmful, however, because it causes fatty deposits to develop in your blood vessels. This increases a person’s risk of heart disease, a major cause of death in the UK and worldwide. Fortunately, by adding these four delicious foods in your daily diet your risk can be significantly reduced.

Onions

Onions are said to be the unsung heroes of cardiovascular health.

They contain bioactive sulphur compounds which reduce hardening of the arteries, keep blood pressure healthy and lower cholesterol.

The British Journal of Nutrition stated in their study that onions help lower cholesterol by decreasing the body’s synthesis of the compound as well as increasing conversion of cholesterol to bile acids.

The study added that cooked onions were more effective in helping to lower levels rather than raw.

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Fruit and berries

Fruit is a fantastic addition to a heart-healthy diet for numerous reasons.

Many types of fruit are rich in soluble fibre, a big component in helping to lower cholesterol levels by encouraging your body to get rid of the waxy substance while stopping your liver from producing it.

Fruits also contain bioactive compounds that help prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases thanks to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Eating berries and grapes, which are particularly rich sources of these plant compounds, can help increase good HDL cholesterol and lower and LDL cholesterol.

HDL vs LDL

HDL is considered “good” cholesterol, while LDL is considered “bad.”

This is because HDL carries cholesterol to your liver, where it can be removed from your bloodstream before it builds up in your arteries. LDL, on the other hand, takes cholesterol directly to your arteries.

An HDL level of 60 or above is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, and below 40 is associated with a higher risk.

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