The pulp of grapefruit, the segments with membranes and tiny juice sacs, contain a unique type of soluble fibre called galacturonic acid that helps lower blood cholesterol. It also helps dissolve plaque or reverse plaque formation already clogging the arteries. In one study by Dr. James Cerda, professor of gastroenterology at the University of Florida, it was discovered that the grapefruit fibre, found in about 340g of grapefruit segments eaten every day, lowered blood cholesterol by about 10 per cent.
It may be clarified that the juice of this fruit does not contain fibre or show any cholesterol lowering effects. Furthermore, in studies on pigs, which have,cardiovascular systems similar to human beings, Dr. Cerda noted that the grapefruit compound actually resulted in less diseased and narrowed arteries and aorta. These compounds somehow swept away some of the built-up plaque.
Grape Seed Oil
The oil extracted from grape seed, which is used for a mild dressing, is a valuable food for raising good HDL cholesterol. David T. Nash, a cardiologist at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, tested grape seed oil on 23 men and women who had low HDL — below 1.17. Every day for four weeks, they ate two tablespoons of grape seed oil in addition to their regular low-fat diet.
Their HDL cholesterol increased by an average 14 per cent. Dr. Nash said that some did not respond, but HDL cholesterol did go up in more than half of them. Generally, those who already had the highest HDL cholesterol were unlikely to get further increase from the grape seed oil.
The seeds of this popular herb contain blood cholesterol lowering property. Their use has been found beneficial in the treatment of high blood cholesterol. The oil of the seeds should be used for this purpose. This oil contains 50 per cent linoleic acid and is more active than even sunflower oil. One teaspoon of this oil should be taken twice daily to achieve beneficial results.
Eating oats lowers blood cholesterol. Dutch scientists discovered the anti-cholesterol power of oats four decades ago. This has now been confirmed by 23 out of 25 studies, says Michael C. Davidson, M.D., Assistant Professor of Cardiology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago.
Dr. Davidson reported in a recent study that a medium-sized bowl of cooked oat bran or a large bowl of oatmeal can help lower blood cholesterol. According to him, the biggest dose a person can have is 55 grams of oat bran a day. This amount reduced detrimental cholesterol 16 per cent in those eating a low-fat diet. Half of that would cut cholesterol 10 per cent. However, taking in 85 grams of oat bran daily did not lower cholesterol further. Oatmeal can also serve the same purpose but it has to be taken in double the quantity of oat bran for the same impact.
Olive oil, being high in monounsaturated fats, is a food of great value as an artery protector that lowers bad LDL cholesterol, without lowering good HDL cholesterol. It also keeps LDL cholesterol safe from toxic changes that threaten arteries and promote heart attacks. A remarkable research study even discovered that olive oil was superior to the standard low-fat diet recommended for reducing cholesterol.
In this study subjects were made to eat 41 per cent of their calories in fat, most of it from olive oil. Their bad LDL cholesterol fell more than when they ate a diet with half as much fat. It was also found that good HDL cholesterol increased on the olive oil diet but decreased on low-fat diet.
In another research study, Dr. Daniel Steinberg of University of California, found that olive oil dramatically prevents toxic oxidation of LDL cholesterol. In this study Dr. Steinberg and colleagues gave one group of healthy persons about 40 per cent of their daily intake of calories, in monounsaturated fat, equal to about 3 tablespoons of olive oil a day.
Others were given regular safflower oil low in monounsaturated fatty acids. Then researchers examined the bad-type LDL cholesterol from both groups. They found that LDL cholesterol of the monounsaturated oil eaters was only half as likely to become oxidised and thus be able to clog arteries. This suggests that when a person eats fat, the olive oil monounsaturated type is a good choice to forestall artery clogging.
Onions are credited with the property to lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL type. Raw onion is one of the best treatments for boosting beneficial HDL cholesterol. According to Dr. Victor Gurewich, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, half a raw onion, or equivalent in juice, raises HDL an average 30 per cent in most people with heart disease or cholesterol problems. Based on folklore tradition about the use of onion as medicine, he tested it in his clinic.
The test proved very successful. So, he advises all his patients to eat onions. He, however, says that more you cook the onions, the more they lose their HDL-raising powers. The onion therapy works in about 70 per cent of patients. If a person cannot eat half a raw onion a day, he may eat less. Any amount may help raise .good HDL cholesterol.