Plant-Based Diets and Your Cholesterol

1 year ago 32

A plant-based diet could benefit your heart in a big way. It might help bring your cholesterol numbers down, along with your chances of getting heart disease someday.

“What’s really cool is that the more plant-based you go, and the more you’re able to embrace vegetarian-style eating, you’re going to get those positive impacts a little bit sooner,” says Libby Mills, a registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

A plant-based diet can mean you mainly fill up on foods that come from plants but still eat a few foods that come from animals. You don’t have to fully go vegetarian (cutting out all meat, fish, and poultry) or vegan (avoiding anything that comes from animals, including eggs and dairy). But you can do so if you want; just be careful to get all the nutrients you need.

The key is to eat a variety of heart-friendly, plant-based foods like:

Plant-Based Health Perks

“What we know is that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol both contribute to raising cholesterol levels in the blood,” says Penny M. Kris-Etherton, PhD, RDN, the Evan Pugh University Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State and a fellow of the American Heart Association. That’s why cutting back on things like fatty meats can help lower your cholesterol.

Eating more fiber-rich foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes can also lower your nu...

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