Is Yogurt Good For Lowering Cholesterol?
Benefits of Yogurt
In recent times, yoghurt has gained a glowing reputation as being a wonder food of sorts. This form of fermented dairy is being touted for its multiple health benefits including but not limited to…
- Good bacteria in yoghurt that populates the digestive tract resulting in improved digestive functions.
- Calcium for healthier bones and teeth.
- Supplementation of vitamin B2, B12, potassium and magnesium.
- Supplementation of animal protein.
Apart from these known benefits of eating yoghurt, there are questions surrounding other potential health benefits of yoghurt consumption. One such question pertains to the benefits of yoghurt for lowering cholesterol. This article aims to shed light on this query and provide accurate answers. Read further to know more.
Is Yogurt Good For Lowering Cholesterol?
Research and Studies Pertaining to Yoghurt Consumption and Cholesterol
Bearing in mind the popularity of yoghurt, various studies have delved deeper to find out more about the benefits of yoghurt apart from what is already a common knowledge. Two primary studies were conducted to assess the effects of eating yoghurt on cholesterol levels.
A study conducted in 2003 arrived at the conclusion that yoghurt consumption can be linked to healthy cholesterol levels and positive effects on blood pressure levels. Within the study group, those who ate more yoghurt seemed to possess a comparatively positive metabolic profile in comparison to those who did not. Yoghurt eaters were also at an advantage in terms of better BMI (Body Mass Index), close to ideal waist circumference, lower triglyceride levels and higher HDL levels or what is commonly known as good cholesterol.
Additionally; a British Study suggested that daily yoghurt consumption can also lower LDL levels, which is widely known as bad cholesterol and even lowers the density of cholesterol bearing blood molecules.
One should bear in mind that these studies do suggest various cholesterol related benefits of yoghurt consumption. By lowering triglyceride levels and LDL levels (the bad cholesterol); yoghurt has the potential of preventing many illnesses associated with high cholesterol. Some of these are cardiac disease, heart attack, strokes and obesity. By increasing HDL levels (the good cholesterol); yoghurt contributes to a healthy heart. It must be noted though that these studies are largely suggestive of the benefits of yoghurt for cholesterol, but inconclusive.
Getting the Best from Yoghurt for Lowering Cholesterol Levels
Getting the best out of yoghurt to enjoy potential benefits for lowering cholesterol requires a better understanding of yoghurt and its many variations.
The Live Cultures in Yoghurt
While it is common knowledge that the live cultures in yoghurt support better digestion; a study in 2011 in the “Journal of Dairy Science” suggested that a controlled study group of Type-2 Diabetes participants benefited from the Lactobacillus acidophilus La5 and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 live cultures in a certain kind of yoghurt. Total cholesterol levels and LDL levels were substantially lowered with yoghurt consumption within this study group.
Pay Heed to Fats and Saturated Fats in Yoghurt
To get the best out of yoghurt with an eye on lowering cholesterol levels; one must also be aware of fats and saturated fats content in different variations of yoghurt. Some yoghurt does have higher levels of fat and saturated fat; in comparison, non-fat yoghurt is the healthiest choice if you want to lower your cholesterol. Non-fat yoghurt has 0.3 g of saturated fat and 0.3 g of fat, which are far lower than any other form of yoghurt; be it Greek yoghurt or low-fat yoghurt.
Combine Yoghurts with Fruits for Lowering Your Cholesterol
To enjoy further cholesterol control benefits of yoghurt; one can also combine this fermented dairy product with fruits with high soluble fiber content. This includes apples, pears, mangoes, oranges, berries and plums. Soluble fibers are known to substantially reduce cholesterol levels.
Avoid Sweetened Yoghurt to Avail Cholesterol Lowering Benefits
Packaged and processed yoghurt has high sugar content, which is definitely not conducive to your physical wellbeing and cholesterol levels. Opt instead for non-sweetened yoghurt that you can sweeten with honey, sugar substitutes or even sugar in moderation to benefit your cholesterol.
Yoghurt with Plant Sterols for Lowering Cholesterol
Some variations of yoghurt have added plant sterols that aid with lowering cholesterol. Studies suggest that these yoghurts are effective in reducing bad cholesterol levels; specifically low-density lipoproteins.
The answer to the question: “Is Yogurt Good For Lowering Cholesterol?” is YES! In conclusion; one must note that the chances of improving cholesterol levels and reducing bad cholesterol are much improved with yoghurt consumption. One can get the most out of yoghurt by opting for yoghurt with the right live cultures, no or low fat and plant sterols if available. In combination; these dietary measures could have a positive impact on cholesterol levels if followed as mentioned above.