Plant-Based Diets and Your Cholesterol
Plant-based diets are composed of partially or wholly plant-origin food. These diets are known for reducing cholesterol levels and minimizing cardiovascular diseases. High cholesterol is associated with the consumption of fatty and high-protein food. Most plant-based foods have less fat and protein.
Does This Mean All Plant-Based Diets Lower Cholesterol?
Not all plant-based diets have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels. Some people fall into the trap of plant-based packed food. Some of these packed foods are not healthy, even if they are from plants.
Plant-based diets like vegetables, fruits, tubers, whole grains are essential to your heart and the entire body at large. Consuming this food will help you lower the low-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is known to be bad cholesterol.
Relationships Between Plant-based Diet And Cholesterol
There is a positive correlation between plant-based diets and cholesterol. People who consume a high amount of plant-based diets (vegetarian) have a lower risk of developing high cholesterol. This is because plant-based diets have less protein and fat, which are associated with fat build-up.
Also, people who consume plant-based diets have lower chances of developing diseases like high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. The common factor of the later diseases is that they are all caused by clogged arteries due to excess plaque accumulation.
Benefits of Plant-based Diets
Consuming plant-based diets has several positive impacts on your cholesterol level and the whole body.
👍Reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol
Bad cholesterol is known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL). High LDL increases cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart attack. Plant-based diets are associated with lower levels of LDL. Also, a plant-based diet reduces LDL to HDL to a standard ratio (3.4: 12.2 mg/dl).
Inflammation is caused due to the reaction of blood cells against foreign substances or pathogens. When the body cells react, they cause body reactions like irritation, itchiness, pain, swelling, and redness.
Nutrients such as antioxidants are found in plant-based food. Antioxidants absorb pathogens and harmful substances hence reducing inflammation. If not checked, prolonged inflammation can lead to cell damage, thus causing cancer.
👍Lowers the risk of heart diseases
Plant-based foods contain a low amount of saturated fats, plenty of fiber, and zero cholesterol, an effective combination for a healthy heart. High protein foods like red meat and eggs contain high cholesterol and saturated fats that cause clogging of the heart arteries. When arteries are clogged, they hinder blood flow, causing complications like stroke and heart attack.
👍Boost your immune system
Plants possess nutrients that are not easy to get from other foods. Plants contain minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, which keep your immune system strong, maintaining cellular health and a balanced body.
Plants give your body the nutrients it requires to fight infection. When you consume a plant-based diet, your immune system is boosted, making you more resistant to illness caused by bacteria and viruses. A robust immune system is critical for lowering your cancer risk because it can detect and attack cellular mutations before they cause disease.
👍They prevent diabetes
There is a relationship between diet and diabetes. Fats are the major cause of diabetes because they make body cells resistant to insulin. Consuming high-quality plant food lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is because plants have low saturated fat and cholesterol.
👍They lower the risk of developing cancer.
Phytochemicals are substances found in plants; they help protect the body cells against damage and make them anti-inflammatory. As we know, cancer is an enlargement of body cells. Eating a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of prostate, gastrointestinal, and breast cancer.
👍They prolong your lifespan.
People who eat plant-based food have lower mortality. This is because plants help boost the immune system and fortify it with the necessary needs to fight disease. Diseases are the major cause of early death which means a person with a strong immune system can live long.
👍They help in maintaining a healthy weight.
Being overweight is unhealthy and is caused by excess fat build-up in the body. Excess weight increases the risks of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks. Since plant-based diets contain less fat and cholesterol content, consuming them will help maintain your weight at a healthy level.
👍Lead to a healthy brain
People consuming plant-based foods like vegetables and fruits have low chances of developing brain disorders such as dementia and cognitive impairment. The main reason for this is the high concentration of nutrients such as folic acid in the plant. Folic acid helps in the development of brain cells.
👍They to improve gut health
plant-based foods promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria and overall well-being. With a healthy gut biome, you’ll have an efficient metabolism, a strong immune system, regular bowel movements, and the right quantities of hormones to keep your appetite in check.
Plant-based diets are not only for vegetarians, and they do not entirely contain plant-sourced food. Consuming plant-based food will improve not only your cholesterol but also lower disease risks. The health benefits arising from consuming plant-based diets are invertible if you make it a routine.
Given the healthy benefits of eating plant-based diets, it is clear that everyone should consider incorporating these diets for healthy living.
Frequently Asked Questions
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