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This Morning's Dr Chris discusses the signs of high cholesterol
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Like several other conditions it is usually caused by unhealthy lifestyle habits, including eating fatty foods and not exercising enough. Although there are medications that can be taken to help, making changes to your diet can actually reduce cholesterol levels. And according to one expert, spelt – a type of wheat – is one food with such properties.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Roger Saul, the founder of food manufacturing company Sharpham Park said: “Spelt is a wholegrain that’s packed full of flavour, provides a strong source of nutrients and is high in fibre – which is important for lowering cholesterol levels in the blood.”
This is backed by cholesterol charity, Heart UK, which says: “Studies have found that people who eat more fibre have a lower body weight, renova santa fe lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol – which is great for your heart health.”
It recommends eating 30 grams of fibre a day to keep cholesterol levels and blood pressure low, although “most of us don’t eat this much”.
Cholesterol levels are measured as millimoles per litre (mmol/l).
The NHS states that healthy total cholesterol levels should be five or less mmol/l.
Or levels of “good” cholesterol – high density lipoprotein – should be one or more mmol/l, while “bad” cholesterol – low density lipoprotein – should be four or less mmol/l.
Roger explained more about the benefits of spelt.
“With more of us looking for healthier options and one in six people suffering from a wheat intolerance, spelt is the dietary addition you must try,” he said.
“Whether you’re looking for an extra source of vitamins and micronutrients, a slow release in energy or support in beating the bloat, spelt is the super grain solution.”
He shared the following benefits of spelt:
Rich in micronutrients – With high levels of magnesium and potassium, this wheat is perfect for helping your nerves activate and communicate, whilst also creating energy in the body.
Source of vitamins – Spelt is high in vitamin B, helping you break down and release energy from food, as well as vitamin E which helps to protect the cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
Slow release of energy – Spelt has a specific structure of the long chain molecules which helps your body digest the grain slowly. This creates a slow release of energy, helping you avoid those sugar spikes you might get from other wheats.
Low glycaemic index – Spelt has a glycemic index of 54, which is low and means it produces only small fluctuations in our blood sugar levels. Yet again helping to avoid any sugar spikes and crashes.
Good source of protein – The protein content of the spelt we produce at Sharpham is between 11 and 15 percent, depending on the growing season and the weather conditions.
These proteins contain all of the nine essential amino acids needed by the human body to repair and build cells.
Beats the bloat – Spelt has a more fragile gluten structure, which is easier to digest as it is more water soluble. Helping you reduce your bloating and discomfort.
Spelt can be bought as a grain or flour, or in drinks or bread.
Other foods recommended to reduce cholesterol include:
- Oily fish, like mackerel and salmon
- Brown rice, bread and pasta
- Nuts and seeds
- Fruits and vegetables.
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