It is well spread the notion that the consumption of fruit and vegetables is good for your health. Proof of this is that most of the guidelines that govern medical actions, especially with regard to cardiovascular diseases, recommends the consumption of vegetables as part of a healthy living strategy. However, most of these guidelines do not include recommendations based on direct benefits of this consumption about lowering cholesterol or heart risk.
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. The risk of this disease can be significantly reduced with the control of blood fats, especially low-density lipoprotein, known as LDL (the acronym in English), or also as “bad cholesterol”. Changes in blood fats constitute one of the most important modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease and the current management of this condition is done using drugs cholesterol reducers.
In a research published recently in Canada, the analysis of 26 scientific papers on the subject, which in total included more than a thousand people, revealed that ingesting a portion (which corresponds to 130 grams, or three-quarters of a cup) of daily vegetables such as beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas, for an average period of 6 weeks, reduces the LDL in 5%, which would correspond to a reduction of risk potential of 5% on heart disease (1% LDL reduction corresponds to the 1% reduction in mortality from heart disease). Despite modest absolute point of view, this reduction is statistically significant and have a major impact on cardiovascular risk reduction.
Considering the cost-benefit ratio, the encouragement in order to increase the consumption of this type of food in our diet, presents a considerable gain, especially when associated with other lifestyle changes.
It should be remembered that these foods are commonplace on the Mediterranean diet, eating pattern that features several proven benefits in promoting health and well-being.