For many adults, cholesterol is something that is often shunned. This is not without reason. High cholesterol is indeed one of the main risk factors of various diseases such as heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, heart attack, and so on. To reduce cholesterol levels, various methods are used, including consuming garlic.
Efficacy of garlic
Garlic is a food that is easily found everyday. Besides functioning as an aromatic spice in cooking, garlic is believed to have various benefits. Lowering high cholesterol is one of them.
To get this property, many people consume garlic by eating it directly, in the form of a pulverized powder, or mixed with lemon juice. However, has the practice of consuming garlic been scientifically proven to reduce cholesterol?
Garlic and cholesterol
A study in Iran published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine showed positive results about the effects of garlic on cholesterol.
The study showed that consumption of garlic and lemon juice can reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), fibrinogen, and blood pressure in patients with dyslipidemia (high cholesterol).
Garlic contains phytochemical compounds that can function as anti-inflammatory (inflammation). This compound can prevent oxidative reactions in blood vessels and inhibit the increase in LDL levels.
In addition, garlic also contains allicin, a compound that can inhibit the formation of cholesterol. These various effects are the reason garlic is used as a cholesterol-lowering agent.
However, on the other hand, not all researchers agree on the effects of garlic on cholesterol. A researcher at Stanford, Christopher Gardner, states that the effect has not been fully clinically tested.
Most of the reactions of these compounds only occur in the laboratory and their effects on the human body have not been significant. Gardner also added that garlic has not been able to replace the position of anti-cholesterol drugs in reducing blood fat levels.
However, garlic can help reduce inflammation in patients who have infections and improve immune function. To get this effect, garlic does not always have to be eaten directly.
You can mix it in cooking or be part of your vegetable salad.
Cholesterol-lowering that you can consume
If garlic is still pros and cons, some of the following foods have been scientifically proven to reduce cholesterol, namely:
Breakfast with a bowl of oats can reduce LDL cholesterol in the body. Because oats have soluble fiber which is good for digestion and absorption of body fat.
Fish and other seafood have essential fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce triglycerides. In addition, in those who have heart disease, omega-3 can reduce the risk of death from heart attack.
If you want to process fish, you should avoid it by frying it because it will increase trans fat which is bad for health. Preferably, the fish is cooked by baking.
Confused in choosing snacks for cholesterol sufferers? Nuts can be an alternative. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and other types of nuts can reduce cholesterol, especially LDL in the blood.
The benefits of garlic in lowering cholesterol are not yet fully proven and experts have not yet fully agreed on this matter.
However, you can still consume garlic and other cholesterol-lowering foods and combine them with a healthy lifestyle such as exercise and avoid smoking and alcohol. Do not forget to consult a doctor so that your high cholesterol levels get optimal treatment immediately.