Are Beans Bad for High Cholesterol? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Beans are good for high cholesterol. Because they have soluble fiber, plant sterols, and vegetable protein and they can lower LDL cholesterol and prevent blood sugar spikes.

High cholesterol is a condition that affects your blood vessels and heart.

In high cholesterol, your body produces too much of a waxy substance called cholesterol, which can build up in your arteries and form plaques.

This can lead to various health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, angina, and peripheral artery disease.

One of the key factors in managing high cholesterol is diet.

What you consume can affect your blood cholesterol levels, which can impact your high cholesterol symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage high cholesterol, you should consume fiber-rich foods like oats, barley, and fruits and avoid saturated and trans fat-rich foods like butter, lard, and junk food.

Now, beans are legumes that come in different varieties, such as black, kidney, pinto, and chickpeas.

People usually eat beans as part of salads, soups, stews, or dips.

Beans are good for high cholesterol because they contain soluble fiber, plant sterols, and vegetable protein.

Soluble fiber binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation.

Plant sterols are chemically similar to cholesterol and block its absorption from the gut.

Vegetable protein can lower LDL cholesterol by replacing animal protein sources that are high in saturated fat.

One cup of cooked beans can give you about 15 grams of fiber (60% of your daily needs), 0.1 grams of plant sterols (5% of your daily needs), and 15 grams of protein (30% of your daily needs).

Soluble fiber can lower LDL cholesterol by reducing its production in the liver and increasing its clearance from the blood.

Plant sterols can lower LDL cholesterol by competing with it for absorption in the gut.

Vegetable protein can lower LDL cholesterol by altering the metabolism of bile acids and cholesterol in the liver.

Furthermore, beans are a low glycemic index food and low glycemic index foods are good for high cholesterol.

Because, they do not cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

You can eat one to two cups of beans per day safely.

More than that can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Also, you shouldn’t eat beans if you have gout or kidney stones to prevent uric acid buildup.

Because, beans are high in purines, which can increase uric acid levels in the blood.

You can buy fresh beans in your local market or can order them online.

Always choose beans that are firm, dry, and free of cracks or insects.

Because, they will have better quality and shelf life.

You can store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to a year.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing high cholesterol effectively.

I always recommend my high cholesterol patients to follow a cholesterol-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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