A balanced and nutritious diet is necessary for good health. People having high cholesterol need to be extra watchful about what they eat. Some foods are better for reducing cholesterol than others. Want to know if yogurt is good for high cholesterol or not? Wondering which type of yogurt is best for health? Read on to understand the effect of yogurt on cholesterol levels.
Is Yogurt Good For High Cholesterol?
You may have received advice about certain foods being good or bad for high cholesterol. Some of these foods are very nutritious while some are truly harmful even for your overall health. So, is yogurt good for high cholesterol? Let us understand the link between yogurt and cholesterol so that you can decide for yourself, if yogurt is good for high cholesterol or not.
Cholesterol levels and risk of other cardiac ailments can be lowered by making healthy lifestyle changes and following a nutritious diet. Yogurt can be included in a healthy diet, but, like other food, should also be consumed in moderation. Yogurt is indeed a nutritious food but it can be high in fat, hence choosing the low fat options in yogurt is important. Those who like yogurt should opt for a low-fat or fat-free version which contains live active cultures or plant stanols for the best cholesterol-lowering potential. The type of yogurt which you choose is important for determining how much you should eat, because some are more nutritious than others, and their protein, calories, sugar and fat content varies as well.
Thus, yogurt is good for high cholesterol but choosing the right type of yogurt plays an important role.
Effects of Different Types of Yogurt on Cholesterol Levels
All types of yogurt do not have the same effect on the cholesterol levels. This is the main differentiating factor in the answer to the question, is yogurt good for high cholesterol. In a study conducted on people with type-2 diabetes, it was found that eating 10.6 oz of a yogurt, containing the live active cultures Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 and Lactobacillus acidophilus La5, every day was beneficial in reducing both total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein compared to having yogurt without these probiotics. When trying to lower cholesterol, the label of yogurt should be checked to ensure that it contains these organisms.
Eating foods which contain high amount of total fat or saturated fat can raise the cholesterol level. So it is better to choose low-fat, fat-free or Greek yogurt. Each cup of fat-free plain yogurt has only 0.4 g of fat, including 0.3 g of saturated fat, compared to 8 g of fat, including 5.1 g of saturated fat, in plain yogurt made from whole milk. Non-fat Greek yogurt contains similar amount of fat as non-fat regular yogurt, but whole Greek yogurt has nearly 3 times the fat of regular yogurt made from whole milk, and so people with high cholesterol should avoid this type of yogurt.
Benefits of Specialty Yogurts
While we say that yogurt is good for high cholesterol, the cholesterol-lowering effects of yogurt can be boosted by choosing a specialty yogurt with added plant stanols. A study found that drinking a yogurt drink fortified with plant stanols helped participants with metabolic syndrome lower bad cholesterol, including both LDL and very-low-density lipoprotein, and triglyceride levels as well. This is better than yogurt with probiotics, which only reduce cholesterol but not triglycerides.
Increasing the Effects of Yogurt
The cholesterol-lowering benefits of yogurt can be potentially increased if paired with other foods which can lower cholesterol, like fruits high in soluble fiber. Berries, apricots, apples, peaches, plums, mangoes, pears, and oranges all contain at least 1 g of soluble fiber per serving, making them the better options.
So, if you are wondering if yogurt is good for high cholesterol, now you know which type of yogurt you must choose. Also adding fiber rich fruits make yogurt a wonder food for high cholesterol and can help to reduce the cholesterol levels, which is good news.