Are bananas good for cholesterol?
Before we indulge in explaining the benefits the banana may offer to regulate cholesterol, it is pertinent to discuss what cholesterol is and why a particular food is good or bad for you. Firstly, keep in mind that our body has a complex system that involves several organs, enzymes, hormones, and other complex substances and fluids.
All the bodily systems are regulated by substances that we get from the food we consume. Since there is no single universal food in which we find all these components, we need to eat different foods to keep the supply of essential food components sufficient. Such a diet is known to us as a balanced diet. So before you cast any food out of your diet, keep in mind that the particular food is not the problem; it’s how you consume it.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a substance made by the human body. You may believe that cholesterol is some sort of bad substance for your body, but cholesterol is actually essential for the body.
It is required to synthesize some bodily hormones, and it also helps digest fatty food. The good thing is that the human body makes all the cholesterol it needs; the bad news is that we get a lot more from our diet.
How is banana helpful?
Bananas richly contain soluble fiber. Fiber is basically a part of the cell walls of plants and is indigestible. When the soluble fiber isn’t digested, it comes into contact with cholesterol and carries it out of the body. According to dietitians and health experts, the human body needs 38 grams of total fiber for men and 25 grams for women. To reduce the cholesterol level, a third of this daily fiber requirement should be soluble fiber.
A moderated sized banana contains only about 0.7 to 0.9 gram of soluble fiber, which is a small fraction of what our body needs.
This is how you can have enough soluble fiber to reduce your cholesterol level.
- Since one banana contains very few amounts of soluble fiber, you can eat it with other foods that contain soluble fiber. One such food is Oats. Oats are a regular part of breakfast for most in the world. If you cut the banana in slices and add it to your oatmeal, it will be a good way to improve soluble fiber intake.
- Take bananas with apples or pears since both these fruits are also rich in soluble fiber.
- Take around 5-6 bananas if you can afford it easily and make a banana juice by adding only a small amount of water in it.
- Keep your LDL cholesterol intake low. It is better to consume less than to take it out of your body.