High cholesterol? This breakfast classic might help
It’s no secret that high cholesterol is a problem in the United States. With the CDC reporting about 38% of American adults having high cholesterol, it’s likely that you or several people you know could have high levels or be at risk. If you’re unsure, the best way to know about your unique cholesterol level is to have this checked by your medical provider with bloodwork.
Why is high cholesterol a problem?
The American Heart Association explains how cholesterol is naturally produced within the body and helps with functions like “making new cells, some hormones, and substances that help digest foods.” Cholesterol comes in two types and the foods we eat can affect the balance of those types of cholesterol. You have the “bad” kind called low-density lipoprotein or LDL, and you have the “good” kind called high-density lipoprotein or HDL. The bad kind (LDL) can cause a buildup of fats and plaque over time that clog arteries leading to reduced blood flow, blockages, and even heart attacks and strokes in some cases. The good kind (HDL) helps remove the LDL cholesterol.
What can I do to reduce LDL cholesterol?
A healthy diet plays a key role! There are several types of food that are often touted as those that could help lower bad cholesterol. Guess which one we’re proud to see regularly make that list? The one and only orange juice!
- The Mayo Clinic suggests incorporating orange juice with added plant sterols into your diet. They propose, “adding 2 grams of sterol to your diet every day can lower LDL cholesterol by 5 to 15 percent.”
- Harvard Medical School seconds the above recommendation for including orange juice in a cholesterol-lowering diet. They explain, “sterols and stanols extracted from plants gum up the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol from food.”
- Lauren Manaker M.S. RDN, LD recommends 100% orange juice in a lower-cholesterol diet as it falls into the complex, whole-food, and healthy carb category. She also cites recent studies suggesting those who consume OJ regularly could have lower LDL levels than those who don’t.
Is orange juice on its own the answer for those with high cholesterol? We wish! Does orange juice contain nutritive properties that could improve cholesterol numbers especially when combined with an overall heart healthy diet and exercise routine? Yes!
Even if high cholesterol isn’t a concern of yours, including orange juice in your diet could be a good idea for a number of other health benefits. For a look at those benefits, here’s our list of why orange juice is our “main squeeze.” As always, this is for informational purposes only. Please consult your physician for medical recommendations and guidance around your specific health concerns.