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In the study, 45 healthy volunteers consumed 75 grams daily of either white chocolate, dark chocolate or dark chocolate enriched with cocoa polyphenols. Researchers found that there was an increase in serum HDL cholesterol in the dark chocolate and dark chocolate with cocoa polyphenols groups, and LDL levels decreased in all three study groups.
Our bodies need cholesterol to make hormones that protect the body, vitamin D and bile salts that are necessary for the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Plus, the brain and nervous system depend on cholesterol for the creation of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Our bodies make the cholesterol that we need, but we get cholesterol from our food too.
If you have too much cholesterol, it starts to build up in your arteries and may lead to atherosclerosis , or the hardening of the arteries. Eventually, high cholesterol levels may cause heart and blood flow problems, leading to dangerous blood clots and inflammation that can cause heart attacks and strokes.
High cholesterol levels alone do not determine if you are at risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Other factors include your blood pressure, whether or not you smoke, whether or not you have diabetes, and your age, sex and race.
This can lead to coronary heart disease and complications, such as chest pain angina , heart attack and stroke. The truth is that not all high-cholesterol foods are bad for you. In fact, some can even increase HDL cholesterol levels and improve your cardiovascular health. To distinguish high-cholesterol foods that should be avoided vs. The foods that lead to weight gain and inflammation are the ones that should be eliminated from your diet in order to promote cardiovascular health.
Cholesterol travels through your bloodstream in small packages called lipoproteins, which are made up of fat on the inside and proteins on the outside. LDLs carry 75 percent of the cholesterol in our bodies and are the cholesterol compounds most involved in cell damage and tissue repair and protection.
When you have high levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood, you have a greater chance of developing heart disease. LDL cholesterol also raises your risk for a condition called peripheral artery disease , which can develop when plaque buildup narrows an artery supplying blood to the legs.
LDL cholesterol has this reputation as a bad form of cholesterol because some LDLs are very small and can pass through the artery wall, becoming oxidized by free radicals.
LDLs can also be oxidized or damaged by a diet of processed, refined and fried foods. Avoiding these high-cholesterol foods alone will not necessarily decrease your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut only affects the digestive system, but in reality it can affect more. Click here to learn more about the webinar. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world Health Heart Health Current: Axe on Facebook 4 Dr.
Axe on Twitter 2 Dr. Axe on Instagram Dr. Axe on Google Plus Dr. Axe on Youtube Dr. Axe on Facebook Dr. Axe on Twitter 16 Dr. Axe on Facebook 6 Dr. Axe on Twitter 1 Dr. Axe on Twitter Dr. There are few things worse than spending your nights tossing and turning. Try My 6-Step Liver Cleanse. Axe on Facebook 2. Axe on Instagram Micronutrients fuel proper functioning of the immune system and enable the detoxification and cellular repair mechanisms that protect us from chronic diseases.
Fuhrman coined the term Nutritarian to define a diet style which provides a high ratio of micronutrients per calorie and a high level of micronutrient variety.
Adequate consumption of micronutrients — vitamins, minerals, and many other phytochemicals — without excessive caloric intake, is the key to achieving excellent health. To illustrate which foods have the highest nutrient-per-calorie density, Dr.
Fuhrman created the aggregate nutrient density index, or ANDI. It lets you quickly see which foods are the most health-promoting and nutrient dense. The ANDI ranks the nutrient value of many common foods on the basis of how many nutrients they deliver to your body for each calorie consumed. Unlike food labels which list only a few nutrients, ANDI scores are based on thirty-four important nutritional parameters.
Foods are ranked on a scale of , with the most nutrient-dense cruciferous leafy green vegetables scoring It is also important to achieve micronutrient diversity, not just a high level of a few isolated micronutrients.
Eating a variety of plant foods is essential to good health. It is important to include a wide assortment of plant foods in your diet to obtain the full range of nutritional requirements. Include onions, seeds, mushrooms, berries, beans and tomatoes as well as greens in your diet.
For your good health, take a minute to evaluate the quality of your current diet and learn which foods you need to consume to improve it.
To determine the ANDI scores, an equal-calorie serving of each food was evaluated. The following nutrients were included in the evaluation: