Five Cholesterol-Fighting Foods

MSN offers up a list of foods that fight cholesterol. I liked these three. Check them out:

Oatmeal: You’ve seen the commercials with people proclaiming dramatic drops in their cholesterol numbers thanks to a daily serving of this hot cereal. Those great results are due to the high levels of soluble fiber found in oatmeal.

Almonds: Studies have found that eating just a quarter cup of almonds a day can lower your LDL by 4.4 percent, according to dietitian Leslie Bonci, who is also the director of sports nutrition at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Eating nuts, especially almonds, which are high in good-for-you monounsaturated fat, is better than simply eating a low-fat snack like pretzels,” says Bonci.

Soy: Soybeans, soy nuts and edamame, plus any products made from soy (like tofu, soymilk, etc.) can help to reduce the production of new cholesterol.
HealthandMen rounds out the rest of the list. Take a look:
Fish: Another no brainer. Omega 3 fatty acids.

Red Wine: Red wine contains Flavanols which have anti-inflammatory properties that help to lower cholesterol and fight heart disease. Once again, moderation.
I’m a little leery of these two. Here’s what Dr. Fuhrman has to say about fish:
Choose fish over other animal products, but be aware that the place where it was caught, and the type of fish, matters. Don't accept recreational fish from questionable waters. Farmed fish is safer. Never eat high-mercury-content fish. Don't eat fish more than twice a week, and if you have a family history of hemorrhagic stroke, limit it further to only once a month.
And now, Dr. Fuhrman talks about wine:
A few years ago the University of California’s Berkeley Wellness Letter reported on new research about the so-called heart-healthy “benefits” of alcohol consumption. Previous studies had led to a recommendation that moderate consumption of red wine—but not other alcoholic beverages—helped reduce the risk of heart attack. What did the new research reveal?

If we were to rely on the Berkeley Wellness Letter for this information, the latest news would be that moderate consumption of any alcoholic beverage—red or white wine, even beer and spirits—can be heart-healthy. Unfortunately, their latest news is still woefully out-of-date. More recent studies show that even moderate alcohol consumption is linked to significantly increased incidence of atrial fibrillation,1 a condition that can lead to stroke, and to higher rates of breast cancer.2,3

Alcohol is not actually heart-healthy. It simply has anti-clotting effects, much like aspirin.
I think MSN might want to revisit their list—got to look at the whole picture—you know?

1. Jancin B. Just a few drinks raise risk of atrial fibrillation. Family Phsyician News. January 11, 2002;4.

2. Wright RM, McManaman JL, Rapine JE. Alcohol-induced breast cancer: a proposed mechanism. Free Radic Biol Med 1999; 26(3-4): 348-354.

3. Dorgan JF, Baer DJ, Albert PS, et al. Serum hormones and the alcohol-breast cancer association in postmenopausal women. J Natl Cancer Inst 2001; 93(9): 710-716.

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