‘Surprising’: The diet that could slash high cholesterol and blood sugar levels over time

‘Surprising’: The diet that could slash high cholesterol and blood sugar levels over time

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Myriad diets promise positive health outcomes, but most aim to tackle individual ailments. The Mediterranean diet has long been revered for being one of the healthiest, slashing the risk of both heart disease and dementia. New findings, however, suggest another diet may deliver comparable effects. Nordic dietary patterns, which emphasise heart-healthy oils, could significantly lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels over time.

The new study has suggested the diet, which focuses on foods found in Norway, Denmark and Iceland, could slash high cholesterol and blood sugar levels within six months.

Lars Ove Dragsted, research and head of section at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, said: “It’s surprising because most people believe that positive effects on blood sugar and cholesterol are solely due to weight loss.

“Here, we have found this not to be the case. Other mechanisms are also at play.”The researchers analysed blood and urine samples from 200 people with elevated BMI, aged over 50.

READ MORE: High cholesterol: A ‘handful’ of a certain snack could slash levels by 11.6% in ‘weeks’

The main sources of fat in the Nordic diet come from fish, flaxseeds, sunflower and rapeseed, which are considered very healthy for the body.

“The fat composition in the Nordic diet, which is higher in omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fats, is probably a considerable part of the explanation for the health effects we find from the Nordic diet, even when the weight of participants remains constant,” explained Mr Dragsted.

The diet also emphasises complex carbohydrates and fibre, which can bind to fatty molecules in the digestive tract and drag them out of the body.

It shares a lot of similarities with the Mediterranean diet, which is touted for its heart-protective benefits.

One of the key differences is in the oils it includes, such as canola oil, which contains a markedly lower amount of saturated fats than extra-virgin olive oil.

It remains unknown, however, how exactly the oil is able to lower both cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

But the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health explains that the oil contains significant levels of polyunsaturated omega-3 fat.

These compounds have previously been shown to help lower blood sugar levels in individuals with Type II Diabetes.

The Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health adds: “Canola oil contains significant amounts of phytosterols that reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the body.”

Other fibrous foods included in the diet are peas, beans, cabbage, onions, and fruits including apples, plums and berries.

It also recommends nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish and shellfish, as well as low-fat dairy products.

A group of health experts created the diet in 2004, to address growing obesity rates in Nordic countries.

Source: Read Full Article