Do you love to eat bananas? Then there’s good news for you. Bananas, like all other fruits, are a rich source of fiber, especially soluble fiber.
What Are The Factors Leading To Cholesterol?
Studies show that eating foods that contain soluble fiber can help lower your cholesterol. In this blog, we shed light on various types of cholesterol and how eating bananas will help bring down your cholesterol.
Is Cholesterol Bad For Your Health?
You might be under the wrong notion that cholesterol is bad for your health. Not really. A waxy substance, cholesterol is in fact required for your body to build cell membranes, Vitamins D, and other hormones. However, too much cholesterol can pose a threat to your health.
Sources Of Cholesterol
The cholesterol in your blood is generated from two sources.
1. The foods you eat and
2. Your liver
In fact, your liver makes all the cholesterol that is required for your body. Cholesterol and other lipids are transported through the bloodstream. They take the form of spherical particles called lipoproteins.
What Are LDL And HDL Cholesterol?
There are two major types of lipoproteins in your body.
LDL cholesterol, generally termed bad cholesterol, can eventually cause the formation of plaque buildup in your arteries (atherosclerosis). This is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart attack.
On the other hand, HDL cholesterol, or good cholesterol absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to your liver. In turn, your liver flushes it out of your body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can bring down the risk of heart disease and stroke.
What Are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a kind of fat found in the blood. When you eat food, there will be some amount of calories that your body doesn’t need to use. These calories are immediately converted to triglycerides.
Triglycerides are accumulated in the fat cells of the body. Later, hormones release them for energy between your meals. If you regularly consume more calories than you burn, especially from high-carbohydrate foods, then you are susceptible to high triglycerides.
Bananas And Cholesterol
The best part about bananas is that they contain fiber – a component of all plant cell walls. Insoluble fiber is the tough, indigestible fiber that is vital for your digestive health.
Though soluble fiber is also not digested, it becomes viscous when there is contact with fluids. This substance similar to gel can bind with cholesterol and carry it out of your body.
Unlike insoluble fiber, soluble fiber is found only in a few plant foods. As per the information published in authentic sources, the best sources of soluble fiber are:
Regarding the daily intake of soluble fiber, there are no recommendations as such. However, there is definitely one for total fiber. In the case of men, the ideal amount of total fiber intake should be 38 grams daily and for women, it is 25 grams daily.
As per health experts, of the total fiber you consume, at least a quarter should be soluble fiber. This helps bring a significant change in your cholesterol levels. If your consumption of soluble fiber in a day is around 5 to 10 grams, it can reduce total and LDL cholesterol by 5 to 11 points.
How Do Bananas Help Lower Your Cholesterol Levels?
The fiber and potassium content in bananas can help bring down both cholesterol and blood pressure in your body. In a study conducted among hypercholesterolemic subjects (those with high levels of cholesterol in their blood) it was proved that consuming bananas every day leads to marginal improvement of lipid profile.
For your information, a lipid profile is a complete cholesterol test that helps assess the count of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood.
A medium banana contains 0.7 grams of soluble fiber. It comes to only a minuscule portion of your body’s daily soluble fiber requirement.
However, if you eat several foods that are rich in soluble fiber throughout the day, then you can easily achieve the target. Thus make it a habit to eat 1 banana a day. Let’s check how you can bring variety to banana consumption.
Do you like eating oatmeal for breakfast? Then you would be elated to know that one bowl of oatmeal offers 1.4 grams of soluble fiber. Topping it with a sliced banana can raise the total consumption of your soluble fiber to more than 2 grams for your morning meal.
If you are a banana lover, now you would be quite happy to add them to your daily diet. Apart from lowering cholesterol, bananas also come with several other health benefits.
It ranges from helping you feel fuller, improving blood sugar levels, aids in cutting down weight, and supporting your digestive health.