(NaturalNews) The medical profession is pretty vocal about the dangers of LDL, or the so-called "bad," cholesterol. Having too much low-denisty lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body sets up a person's arteries to harden and become narrow. This condition, known as atherosclerosis, substantially raises the risks for both stroke and heart disease.
Doctors recommend that levels of LDL cholesterol be at, or below, 200 milligrams per deciliter. Levels above this number warrant intervention of some type. In many cases, this means medication. However, even if a physician recommends that their patients begin a treatment to lower their cholesterol using medication, the person can also make changes at home to combat the issue.
Proper diet is crucial
It should come as no surprise that what is consumed can affect the health of the body greatly. This is true for the levels of LDL cholesterol as well. While the liver makes all the cholesterol the body typically needs, most people get additional amounts due to their diet. This added cholesterol is not able to be processed properly by the body, so it leads to build-up within the arteries. It is this build-up that often causes problems for people, especially as they reach their 40s, 50s and 60s.
Beans really are magic in this case
According to Vanessa Ha, a research coordinator at St. Michael's Hospital's Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center in Toronto, eating just one serving of cooked beans on a daily basis can cause a significant reduction in the amount of LDL cholesterol. The serving size of cooked beans, which are also often called legumes, that is most often referred to is about three-quarters of a cup.
The type of beans does not matter
When researchers studied the results of 26 clinical studies that included 1,037 mostly middle-aged men and women, they found no difference in the type of beans eaten when it came to their ability to lower cholesterol. While some of the study participants were determined to be moderately at risk for heart disease, others were considered to be healthy.
Regardless of this, the same effects were enjoyed whether the participants ate chickpeas, peas, lentils or beans. Researchers determined that, over the course of only six weeks, participants who ate one serving of beans each day saw a 5 percent reduction in their levels of LDL cholesterol One key finding that should make nearly every health-conscious individual pleased is the fact that the variety of beans is not important. Almost everyone can find at least one variety of beans that they like to eat, making it easy for them to keep their levels of LDL cholesterol in check.
About the author: Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.