Cholesterol Advice

Stay Vegetarian To Control Cholesterol

What you eat plays an important role in determining your cholesterol levels. While there are some foods that can cause a hike in your cholesterol levels, there are others that can stabilize your cholesterol. Amidst the foods that can control cholesterol, vegetarian foods top the list.

Various studies and researches suggest that a vegetarian diet can help control your cholesterol. As per the results of a recent Canadian research, a vegetarian diet can bring down the overall cholesterol levels by 30 %. Now, this is even greater than some of the cholesterol lowering drugs available in the market.

Even studies by the American Heart Association have had similar findings. As per a research conducted by the AHA, 79 % of vegetarians had 'desirable' cholesterol levels. On the other hand, 71 % non vegetarians had "borderline high risk" cholesterol levels. Such studies clearly boil down to the fact that vegetarians have high cholesterol levels as compared to non vegetarians.

The reason why a vegetarian diet proves helpful to lower cholesterol is because of the fact that vegetarian foods contain lower amount of fats and cholesterol as compared to non vegetarian food items. Another factor that makes a vegetarian diet beneficial is that vegetarian foods are rich in fiber that helps stabilize cholesterol levels.

Though all vegetarian food can contribute to lower cholesterol, there are some foods that offer better results. Some vegetarian foods that have excellent cholesterol lowering properties include fresh fruits, nuts, legumes and seeds. Protein rich foods such as soy and tofu can also significantly bring down cholesterol levels.

While a vegetarian diet can prove to be extremely beneficial to lower cholesterol, there are certain concerns that accompany the same. One of the most important concerns of a vegetarian diet is that it may not include all the nutrients that are needed by your body.  Some of the essential nutrients that a vegetarian diet may miss out on include proteins, iron, calcium, Vitamin D and Zinc.

So, if you are considering switching to a vegetarian diet to keep your cholesterol levels in check, you must ensure that your diet is well balanced. This can be done by including a wide range of foods in your diet. You should try to include different varieties of foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, plant fats, legumes and the like in your diet.

To sum up, it would be appropriate to say that a vegetarian diet definitely has various health benefits for those suffering from high cholesterol levels. But, a vegetarian diet should be chosen with great care else it could result in a nutritional deficiency and create further health problems.