Safflower oil is a food of exceptional value in lowering blood cholesterol. It possesses the highest linoleic acid content of all edible oils, being 72 per cent on an average. It is one of the most polyunsaturated. The medicinal value of linoleic acid came into prominence in the 1960s following the publication in a series of medical and scientific journals, the findings of researchers. These findings proved that this fatty acid was highly beneficial in lowering serum cholesterol levels in laboratory animals and humans. From virtual obscurity, safflower oil became a best seller within a few years.
Soyabeans are one of the best foods to lower cholesterol. This is attributable to its richness in lecithin. Lecithin, is a fatty food substance and is the most abundant of the phospholipids. This substance is highly beneficial in case of increase in cholesterol level. It has the ability to break up cholesterol into small particles, which can be easily handled by the system.
With sufficient intake of lecithin, cholesterol cannot build up against the walls of the arteries and veins. It also increases the production of bile acids made from cholesterol, thereby reducing its amount in the blood. Other good vegetarian food sources of lecithin are vegetable oils, whole grain cereals and unpasteurised milk.
Sunflower seeds are probably the most familiar of all edible seeds. They are the tightly packed core of the splendid sunflowers. Sunflower kernels are well above average in protein, phosphorus and iron concentration. They are very rich sources of B-complex vitamins. Sunflower seeds are cholesterol lowering food. The seeds contain substantial quantity of linoleic acid, which is the fat helpful in reducing cholesterol deposits on the walls of arteries. Substituting sunflower seeds for some of the solid fats like butter and cream will therefore, help control blood cholesterol and also lead to great improvement in health.
This popular nut is also a food of great value in lowering blood cholesterol. This has been brought out by latest research conducted by Dr. Joan Sabate of Loma Linda University. She studied persons with normal blood cholesterol. All were on a low-fat diet, but for one month they ate 20 per cent of their calories in walnuts, about 55g of walnuts in a daily 1,800-calorie diet.
For another month, they ate no nuts. On the no-nuts diet, their cholesterol dropped an average 6 per cent but on the walnut-eating regime, their cholesterol fell 18 per cent. Average cholesterol dropped 0.57 points. Thus, walnuts added a cholesterol-reducing substance even to an ordinary low-fat diet.