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Freeze Dried Strawberries May Naturally Reduce Cholesterol

A study published in the September 2009 issue of the Nutrition Journal found that freeze dried strawberry powder may naturally reduce cholesterol levels.

For the study, Oklahoma researchers recruited 16 women with metabolic syndrome ranging in age from 31 to 71 years.

People with metabolic syndrome have a much higher risk for heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and heart attack. According to the American Heart Association, metabolic syndrome is defined as having three or more of the following:

1. A waistline greater than 40 for men or 35 for women

2. Good (HDL) cholesterol under 40mg/dL for men or 50mg/dL for women

3. Triglyceride levels over 150mg/dL

4. Blood pressure over 130/85mm Hg or the use of blood pressure medicine

5. Elevated levels of C-reactive protein

6. Insulin resistance, glucose intolerance or the use of hyperglycemia (high bloodsugar)

Each of the women in the study had at least three of these factors. For the study they were asked to drink 2 cups of a drink made from freeze dried strawberries (25 g) twice a day for 4 months.

By the end of the study the participants saw an average drop in LDL cholesterol of 6% and a drop in total cholesterol of 5%.

The researchers also observed a 14% reduction in oxidative stress.

Freeze dried strawberries are a great source of antioxidants. They are also high in phytosterols, fiber and phytochemicals, all of which have been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels in previous studies.

1 in 5 adults have cholesterol levels over 200 mg, which is considered borderline high cholesterol. However, diet and lifestyle changes may decrease LDL cholesterol in one year's time by an average of 40%.

Some foods that have been shown to reduce cholesterol include fatty fish, walnuts, oatmeal, and oat bran and it seems that freeze dried strawberries may soon be added to that list.

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