Combat Cholesterol With EVOO & Balsamic Vinegar
Cholesterol has a bad reputation. When brought up in conversation, cholesterol is one of those things that everyone is trying to lower or stay away from. Truth is, we actually need cholesterol, to some degree. Our body creates 75% on its own, but the remaining 25% comes from the food we eat. You've probably heard by now the two types, HDL (the good guy) and LDL (the bad guy). The HDL good guy is what we need to help protect us against heart attack and stroke. The LDL bad guy is what causes health problems. Too much of it circulating through our blood can cause arteries to clog and increase our risk of heart attack and stroke.
So what can we do to support the appropriate ratios of cholesterol? According to the American Heart Association, studies show that regular physical activity and eating a balanced, nutritious diet help to increase your HDL. Decreasing your intake of trans fats and saturated fats such as butter, lard, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oil is a good first step. These should be replaced with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fish oils. Some studies suggest that the MUFA and PUFA fats don't appear to raise LDL levels, in fact they might even help lower them. When combined with a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean unprocessed meats, unsaturated fats such as olive oil can help fight the LDL bad guys.
Interestingly, balsamic vinegar has also been shown to help combat cholesterol. According to a study in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, balsamic vinegar has high levels of polyphenols (antioxidants) and has radical scavenging abilities. (In other words, balsamic vinegar has the ability to scavenge the radicals that wreck havoc on our cells and potentially cause cancer.)
In the study, "total cholesterol were reduced in the presence of balsamic vinegar." It also inhibited LDL oxidation. As mentioned earlier, we all have cholesterol in our bodies. What makes it bad is when it's oxidized. In this study, balsamic vinegar showed that it inhibits that oxidation. So say good-bye to butter and the other saturated fats in your diet. Discover how delicious a heart healthy diet can be when enhanced with D'Avolio's extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. See our website for a wide array of recipe ideas.
For more insight into Cholesterol, check out these articles:
American Heart Association, Cholesterol Levels
Inhibitory Effects of Balsamic Vinegar on LDL
Source Of Major Health Benefits In Olive Oil Revealed
Cholesterol: Top 5 foods to lower your numbers