Expert says eat grapes to ‘drag’ cholesterol ‘out of the body’ – backed by studies
Having high cholesterol puts you at risk of a number of dangerous conditions such as heart disease or stroke. It occurs when you have too much of a fatty substance known as cholesterol in your blood. Over time this can build up, causing blockages.
In a lot of cases having high cholesterol is caused by lifestyle factors such as eating unhealthily, not exercising enough, smoking and drinking too much.
For this reason, it is widely accepted that being mindful of what you eat can help lower cholesterol levels.
What we eat can directly impact cholesterol levels. In particular, most people should look at ways to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol – the ‘bad’ type, associated with increased risk of artery-clogging atherosclerosis
“Saturated fat, found in the highest amounts in meat, cheese and eggs, raises low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, so minimising intake of animal products is the logical first cholesterol-lowering step.
“But we can go a step further, by simultaneously increasing the intake of foods known to actively reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.”
One type of foods that can do so are high in soluble fibre.
“This helps to bind cholesterol in the digestive system and drags it out of the body before it gets into circulation,” TJ said.
Specifically he recommended grapes as a food high in soluble fibre.
What does the research say?
This was backed by various studies.
A paper, published in Nutrients journal in 2021, considered the effect of grape powder on cholesterol levels.
As part of the trial healthy adults were given 46 grams of grape powder every day for four weeks.
It concludes: “Grape powder consumption significantly decreased the total cholesterol by 6.1 percent and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 7.6 percent.
“There was also a trend of decreasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 5.9 percent, and decreasing total bile acid by 40.9 percent.
“In conclusion, grape powder consumption significantly modified the gut microbiome and cholesterol/bile acid metabolism.”
A separate study, published in the Food and Function journal in 2015, found that red grapes specifically were more effective at lowering cholesterol than white grapes.
The results of this study suggest that consumption of the whole fruit of red grapes has more potent anti-oxidative and hypolipidemic effects compared to the white grapes in hyperlipidemic adult humans,” it says.
Hence, the whole fruit of red grapes may be an excellent fruit choice not only to prevent oxidative stress related metabolic disorders but also cholesterol related cardiovascular diseases, particularly in hyperlipidemic adult humans.”
Other high soluble fibre foods include:
Oats, barley and other whole grains