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 Eating legumes fights off bad cholesterol

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PostSubject: Eating legumes fights off bad cholesterol   Thu 08 May 2014, 17:49

Eating legumes fights off bad cholesterol

(NaturalNews) Cholesterol is not a bad word. Like many other substances, there is the necessity in clarifying the information that is provided by popular media. Cholesterol is actually a natural compound that is made by the body and is necessary for good health. The problem lies with the types of cholesterol that are found within the blood stream. New research sheds light on how levels of 'bad' cholestrol can be reduced by eating more legumes.

LDL cholesterol poses a problem
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the 'bad' cholesterol that is a key factor in heart disease, the number one killer of adults today. However, unlike some other health issues, controlling the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood is something that is within everyone's grasp, simply by following simple dietary modifications. These modifications can aid in increasing cardiovascular health and potentially increase the lifespan of that particular person.

Simple diet change: Eat more legumes
Recent research has pinpointed an exciting discovery that centers around diet. Simply eating one serving of legumes each day has been shown to significantly reduce the levels of LDL within the bloodstream. Similarly, new research by scientists at Canada's St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto pinpointed the heart health benefits obtained from eating more chickpeas, beans, peas and lentils.

Canadian study details
The study completed by the Canadian researchers sought to add more evidence to support the current health recommendations that urge people to add more beans and legumes to their diets in order to improve the health of their heart. By analyzing a set of randomized controlled studies, researchers were able to tease out the facts behind consuming more legumes.

By reviewing a total of 26 studies, involving more than one thousand people, researchers were able to more accurately characterize the reduction in LDL levels associated with increased legume consumption. Researchers state that a reduction of five percent was seen in those people who ate as little as a single serving of legumes each day. An interesting point that the researchers observed was that men showed more of a reduction in their LDL levels than women did. Researchers believe, however, that this is due to the fact that men tend to have poorer diets than women, so increasing their legume intake showed a marked improvement when compared to women.

Roadblocks to eating more legumes
Researchers noted that many people in North America fall short of eating just one serving of legumes per day. When they are consumed, people often eat a half serving rather than the full serving required for maximum benefit. In addition, some study participants reported unpleasant side effects, such as constipation, diarrhea and flatulence, which could deter the consumption of legumes on a regular basis. Researchers did note, however, that many cultures eat legumes on a regular basis with no sign of these side effects.
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