Researchers are always looking for foods that can help people control their cholesterol. Your cholesterol levels will thank you if you like bananas. Bananas are a delicious and easy way to get some essential nutrients. Since the beginning of time, people have grown this tropical fruit.
For more than a century, its health advantages have been celebrated worldwide. In addition to sucrose, fructose, and glucose, bananas contain a significant amount of fibre, nutrients, and minerals. It lowers cholesterol and blood pressure due to its high potassium and fibre content.
Bananas, like all fruits, are rich in fibre, particularly soluble fibre. Plant foods contain more soluble fibre than insoluble fibre. Beans, bananas, oats, barley, apples, and pears are the best soluble fibre sources.
Their high soluble fibre content contributes to a strong immune system and a healthy body. It also found that consuming more soluble fibre lowers cholesterol.
Read on to understand the correlation between bananas and cholesterol.
Understanding Your Cholesterol Levels
The American Heart Association advises keeping total cholesterol levels in the blood at around 200 milligrams per deciliter. Blood cholesterol levels between 200 and 239 mg/dL are “borderline high.”
In contrast, blood cholesterol levels over 240 mg/dL are considered “high.” If you have high cholesterol levels, your risk of developing heart disease is higher.
Even though cholesterol has a bad name, the body needs a small amount to make hormones and other substances. For example, the liver makes cholesterol, a waxy substance. Since your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, problems only occur when you consume a lot of it.
Foods high in saturated fat, primarily animal fats, raise one kind of cholesterol—low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol. However, when this LDL reaches an excessive level in the bloodstream, it begins to build up plaque on the artery walls. This plaque slows down the blood flow, significantly increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart attack.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the majority of the cholesterol in your body is LDL cholesterol. The ideal LDL cholesterol level is below 100 mg/dL, even if an LDL level between 100 and 129 mg/dL is typically considered healthy for most people.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is a healthy type of cholesterol because it assists in the removal of LDL cholesterol from the body. Normally, a healthier HDL cholesterol level, which should be at least 60 mg/dL, aids in preventing heart disease.
Remember that getting a blood test is the most reliable way to determine cholesterol levels. While making heart-healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce the problem, some people may also need statins to prevent future issues.
Bananas and Cholesterol – The Connection
Bananas are one of the healthiest, most convenient, most delicious fresh fruits and the least expensive. As a result, anyone who wants to eat well will find that they are an excellent option.
In addition, bananas contain many essential nutrients that may aid in weight loss, digestion, and balancing cholesterol to improve heart health.
Nutritional Facts about Bananas
The USDA provides the following nutritional value for one hundred grams of bananas.
- Calories: 89 kcal
- Total Fat: 0.33g
- Protein: 1.09g
- Carbohydrate: 22.8 g
- Fibre: 2.6 g
- Sugar: 12.2 g
- potassium: 358 mg
- Vitamin C: 8.6 mg
- Calcium: 12 mg
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Bananas do not contain cholesterol; they contain fibre, which is found in the cell walls of all plants. You get 2.6 grams of it from a raw, medium-sized banana. That’s about 10% of your daily requirements. Bananas contain soluble fibre in large quantities. Eating enough fibre in your diet is beneficial to your health.
It helps reduce inflammation and blood pressure and manage cholesterol levels. Fibre-rich foods typically give you a filling meal without adding calories. They are also a good option if you want to lose some weight because of this.
These soluble fibres keep some cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream from the intestines. The National Lipid Association (NLA) claims that consuming 5-10 grams of soluble fibre daily can cut total and “bad cholesterol” by 5-11 points.
However, the body cannot break down soluble fibre, and it becomes viscous when it comes into contact with fluids. Therefore, this gel-like substance can remove cholesterol from the body.
Green bananas are abundant in resistant starch. It makes your bowels work best and helps keep cholesterol in check. Resistant starch also lowers blood sugar.
As per AHA data, low cholesterol level is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Because of this, if one eats green bananas in moderation, it may improve cardiovascular health.
Soluble fibre does not have a daily intake recommendation, but total dietary fibre does.
According to UCSF Health,
- it would be best if you aimed to consume at least 25% of a total dietary fibre
- which is 6 to 8 grams per day from soluble fibre
- to improve your cholesterol levels significantly.
Banana is one snack that can “significantly” improve blood glucose and lipid profile in hypercholesterolemic patients. It was proven from research on thirty people with high cholesterol and fifteen with type 2 diabetes.
After that, these volunteers followed a banana diet for twelve weeks. For breakfast, they ate 250 or 500 grams of bananas. According to the findings of this pilot study, consuming 250 grams of banana per day is safe for both diabetic and hypercholesterolemic volunteers but only marginally beneficial for the latter.
The HealthifyMe Note
One way to improve cholesterol levels is to eat a banana every day, but eating more than that will make a difference. Risk factors for high cholesterol include obesity, inactivity, smoking, and a diet high in red meat and full-fat dairy. Improve your cholesterol levels by eating healthier, losing weight, exercising more, and stopping smoking.
How to Incorporate Bananas into Your Diet to Manage Cholesterol?
Bananas can be consumed raw or added to your preferred smoothie. In addition, you can eat banana bread, muffins, or a homemade peanut butter and banana sandwich. There are a lot of options. Some of them are:
- Breakfast Topping: Adding bits of chopped banana to your breakfast, whether a bowl of cornflakes, porridge, or even oats, help you get more nutrients from the fruit. Adding oats and bananas to your daily diet can help lower your cholesterol.
- Salad: Enjoy a tangy banana salad with some of your favourite fruits chopped up and diced with little chaat masala. Enjoy your cholesterol management journey with this delicious and nutritious salad.
- Banana Smoothie: Combine diced banana slices, a pinch of cinnamon powder, and low-fat yoghurt. Now blend them for 1 minute, and it is ready to drink.
- Banana Bread: Here is the tip: make your banana bread healthier than regular ones. Instead of adding more butter to the recipe, greek yoghurt and 1 extra banana can be added.
- Banana Pancakes: These pancakes have yoghurt and cottage cheese in their batter, giving you more protein. We will only tell you if you decide to serve these for breakfast instead of dinner.
- Banana and Sweet Potato Muffin: If you want to make muffins free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar, you must use this recipe. However, don’t worry: these sweet potato banana muffins are still perfectly moist.
Bananas are also easy to store and are available all year at your local grocery store.
Keep Your Cholesterol Under Control Like A Pro
Eating more fruits and vegetables is standard advice to improve your health. However, some are concerned that high-sugar fruits like bananas can lead to obesity.
Most fruits are higher in sugar because they contain approximately 90% carbs. Nonetheless, fruits are essential to a balanced diet due to their significant nutritional benefits.
Keep your calorie intake and expenditure in mind when trying to control cholesterol. However, it is impossible to categorise which fruits may assist in cholesterol management.
If you are seeking a scientific way to control your cholesterol, opt for a holistic program like HealthifyPro 2.0. It offers tailored diet and lifestyle counselling, which may give you the best chance of long-term success. Beyond calorie counting, in-depth nutritional counselling may make choosing healthy foods that support long-term transformation easier. It is a way of life you wish to lead to reduced cholesterol.
A wearable Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) device, such as the BIOS from HealthifyPRO 2.0, is perfect for tracking your food and its response to blood glucose levels. CGM is one of HealthifyPro’s five pillars to ensure healthy metabolic health. As part of this programme, you can also get ongoing dietary guidance from nutritionists to support a balanced diet and exercise routine.
For example, the nutritionist will learn a person’s reaction to certain foods within a few days. Additionally, you can have personalised two-way conversations with the interactive AI RIA, which continuously scans, examines, and gives information about your overall health.
Suppose you adopt the cholesterol-management measures advised by HealthifyPRO 2.0 coaches, use the smart scale, and repeat metabolic panel testing over a few months. It can be considered one of the best ways to reduce bad cholesterol levels.
Poor dietary practices can lead to an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), sometimes known as “bad cholesterol,” in the blood. A sedentary lifestyle, drinking alcohol and eating fatty foods also contribute to a spike in cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of obesity and heart disease.
Eating fruits, vegetables, ghee, eggs, and cheese will raise the “good cholesterol”; eating fried foods, processed meats, and red meat will give you a lot of “bad cholesterol”. However, you should consult a healthcare provider before making any dietary changes.
Also, please note that good foods are ‘good’ depending on when and how much you consume. For all this, you need help from specialists, and HealthifyPRO 2.0 can help you to understand your body and food better.