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Written by Ripe London on April 12, 2024

Fruits to Lower Cholesterol and Improve Heart Health

There's nothing more important than looking after your health. This includes ensuring your cholesterol levels are low and reducing the amount of saturated fat you consume. Saturated fat increases the amount of LDL cholesterol (the bad kind that clogs up arteries and restricts blood flow), which can lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Though it can sound like scary stuff, like with many things in the world of health, there's some good news! Blood cholesterol levels can be lowered through something as simple as eating fruits and vegetables, and Ripe London is going to talk you through the fruits to lower cholesterol.

Fruits That Lower Cholesterol Levels

LDL cholesterol levels (Low-Density Lipoprotein) can be lowered through eating soluble fibre. Luckily, soluble fibre is found in almost all fruits! Aside from the skins or peels, pretty much all fruits you can eat as part of a heart-healthy diet lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease or other health problems. Here are six cholesterol-busting foods for you to sink your teeth into:

Apples

An apple a day quite literally keeps the doctor away.

Due to the soluble fibre content in apple flesh, these crunchy delights can help you reach and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. It's thought we need around 5-10g of soluble fibre a day to lower LDL. Which has been linked to a lower heart disease risk - and a standard apple gives you around 4g.

In 2019, it was found that 40 people with mildly high cholesterol levels could reduce LDL cholesterol levels by just eating two apples a day (NIH). So, if we're talking about cholesterol-lowering foods, apples are a great place to start.

Avocados

Unsaturated fats are the best kinds, contributing to HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and avocados are high in these unsaturated fats. Replacing the nasty saturated fats with these can be a good method to lower cholesterol!

Plus, it's been found that eating one avocado a week can cut coronary heart disease risk by as much as 21% (JAHA). The monounsaturated fats in avocado are also thought to prevent cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions (AHA).

The heart health benefits of avocados go even further, though. In 100g of avocado, there are around 76mg of the plant sterol beta-sitosterol. Which may help keep oxidised LDL cholesterol levels at a healthy level by limiting the amount that enters the body (RSC). This little superhero is a vitamin that can also aid with swelling of the prostate and other tissues.

Berries

Rich in soluble fibre, berries (including strawberries and blueberries) are perfect if you're looking into lowering cholesterol levels. Soluble fibre binds to LDL cholesterol in the small intestine, stopping it from entering the blood. Cholesterol then leaves the body along with the fibre, rather than clogging up arteries and increasing blood pressure and heart disease risk.

Blueberries, in particular, are great for cholesterol levels. This is because they contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant chemical (which also gives blueberries their mouthwatering blue-purple colour). Anthocyanin lowers the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, meaning less cholesterol is hardening in your arteries!

Citrus Fruits

Rich in a soluble fibre called pectin, citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are great for getting that LDL cholesterol count into a healthy region. Pectin is found in the white bits of the orange, so make sure you're getting that pulp too!

A lot of food companies are adding plant sterols and stanols into orange juice these days, which we've already discussed helps to lower LDL cholesterol oxidation! Basically, citrus is perfect for dropping cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and heart disease risk.

Grapes

The luxurious dessert choice of Roman emperors, grapes contain polyphenols. Which are thought to reduce how much LDL cholesterol is absorbed into the bloodstream. It was found that 500g of red grapes per day helped lower LDL cholesterol levels. This is because grapes contain the antioxidant resveratrol, for added protection against high cholesterol and cholesterol-related cardiovascular disease (PubMed).

As part of a cholesterol-lowering diet (or the Mediterranean diet), red grapes can be the perfect juicy treat!

Are There Other Foods That Lower Your Cholesterol?

It's not just fruits that can lower your cholesterol, as well as your risk of heart disease and other health issues. If you're concerned about your high cholesterol, you can get plenty of health benefits from following a cholesterol-lowering diet by including the following going forward:

  • Fruits and vegetables rich in soluble fibre (kidney beans or other legumes, aubergine, Brussel sprouts, turnips)
  • Fatty fish and oily fish (as they contain Omega 3 fatty acids to reduce the level of fat in your blood)
  • Nuts are high in unsaturated fats and dietary fibre (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts)
  • Soybeans and soy products (soy milk, tofu, anything with soy protein)
  • Vegetable oils contains polyunsaturated fatty acids to lower cholesterol levels (olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, avocado oil)
  • Whole grains are rich in soluble fibre (oat and oat bran, barley, rices)
  • Dark leafy greens have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and a lower risk of heart disease, thanks to carotenoids (spinach, kale, bok choy)
  • Green tea consumption can give your body an antioxidant boost thanks to green tea's catechin content
  • Dark chocolate and cocoa can actually lower cholesterol, as it contains polyphenols and resveratrol (look for 70-85% cocoa content products)!
Assorted Exotic Fruits

Lower your cholesterol with a delivery from Ripe London!

How To Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels

Lowering your blood cholesterol levels is actually pretty easy. Cutting down on saturated fats and ensuring that you're eating foods which lower cholesterol or contain HDL cholesterol can lower your chances of cardiovascular disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes. Foods that contain plant sterols, Omega 3 fatty acids, or other ingredients that are great at destroying or absorbing cholesterol (like soluble fibre) are all great for maintaining lower LDL levels.

With fruits and vegetables including avocado, citrus, beans, and dark leafy greens, you can improve your total cholesterol levels (as well as lower risk factors and promote heart health benefits). For overweight and obese adults, eating these kinds of fruits means you're cutting down on saturated and trans fats and all the risk factors that can put your health at risk.

Does Lowering Cholesterol Improve Your Health?

Even though HDL cholesterol is essential for heart health, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke, LDL cholesterol does the opposite. With saturated fats, high LDL cholesterol levels raise your total cholesterol count and cause blood vessels to get clogged up. Even potentially cause blood clots if one of these deposits ruptures.

Maintaining a moderate-fat diet, ensuring you're getting enough HDL cholesterol, Omega 3 fatty acids, and other healthy fats (like those found in nuts, fatty fish and avocados), improves your health massively.

Fruits are an ideal way to get into a cholesterol lowering diet. Ensuring your total cholesterol count is weighted in favour of the healthy kinds of cholesterol.

Lower Cholesterol Levels At Work: Ripe London

Since we spend so much time at work, what we eat there has a massive impact on our wellbeing. Maintaining a healthy diet is hard when your workplace is filled with vending machines. Or when fast food is a quick and easy lunch idea.

That's why, at Ripe London, we deliver fresh fruits and snacks to workplaces across the capital. Keeping our cholesterol low and our carb count lower is easy when we can munch on local produce over fatty snacks!

Our office fruit boxes are ideal for workplaces looking to lower LDL cholesterol or boost their energy levels (we'll never shut up about how healthy eating boosts your productivity). So, why wait? Check them out today and get healthier tomorrow!

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