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胆固醇—好胆固醇、坏胆固醇和饮食

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根据澳大利亚的最新健康调查,每两个成年人中就有一个人有高血胆固醇水平 (> 5 mmol / L)1 。更令人担忧的是,只有约10%的人清楚这个状况,这表明大多数人要么对此一无所知,要么根本
认为这是一个健康问题。

 

什么是胆固醇?

胆固醇是血液中的一种必需的脂肪。它有助于构建细胞膜,产生雌激素和睾丸激素等激素,并帮助你有效地进行新陈代谢。

有两种类型的胆固醇:

  • 低密度脂蛋白胆固醇 (LDL)—将大部分胆固醇带入细胞。通常被称为“坏”胆固醇,因为LDL过多会阻塞动脉。对于那些患有与心脏病相关的危险因素 (例如高血压) 的患者,LDL水平应维持在2 mmol/L以下。
  • 高密度脂蛋白胆固醇 (HDL)—帮助去除细胞中多余的胆固醇。俗称“好”胆固醇。

我们体内约3/4的胆固醇是在肝脏中产生的,其余的可能来自我们摄入的食物中的脂肪。当我们食用动物脂肪时,肝脏会将脂肪和胆固醇一起输送到我们的血液中。血液中循环过多的低密度脂蛋白胆固醇会导致动脉中的脂肪沉积。这导致血管变窄且最终堵塞,进而可能导致心脏病和中风。

 

如何控制高胆固醇?

听从医生或健康专家的建议,决定是否需要服用药物来控制胆固醇水平。即使你正在服用药物,改变饮食和生活方式也有助于降低胆固醇水平,这样就无需持续用药。

如果你想要自然地控制胆固醇水平,那么健康饮食和生活方式则必不可少。这包括不吸烟,适度饮酒,以及多吃新鲜水果、蔬菜和全谷物。每天锻炼也是关键。

 

哪些食物可以帮助降低低密度脂蛋白胆固醇?

应减少高饱和脂肪食物的摄入。强有力的证据表明,应该增加一些食物的摄入来帮助你以自然的方式控制胆固醇水平。这些食物包括植物甾醇,以及名为β-葡聚糖的可溶性纤维。

  • 植物甾醇

植物甾醇天然存在于食物中,包括葵花籽和油菜籽、植物油和少量坚果、豆类、谷物、水果和蔬菜。 一些人造黄油、牛奶和早餐麦片中添加了浓缩的植物甾醇。作为健康饮食和生活方式的习惯,每天从富含植物甾醇的食物中摄取2克植物甾醇,已被证实可以将LDL胆固醇降低多达9%。2

  • β-葡聚糖

β-葡聚糖是 一种可溶性纤维,在消化道中溶解,形成一种可与胆固醇结合的凝胶。然后这种凝胶和胆固醇作为身体排泄物的一部分排出体外,从而有助于降低胆固醇的再吸收。研究表明,每天食用3克β-葡聚糖有助于降低胆固醇的再吸收。BARLEYmax™是β-葡聚糖的最佳来源之一,它是一种天然全麦谷物,其β-葡聚糖含量平均比其他全谷物 (如燕麦) 多70%。BARLEYmax™可以在一系列产品中找到,满足你每天3克β-葡聚糖的摄入量需求,以自然方式降低胆固醇水平。

 

泰瑞•李奇登斯坦


理学荣誉学士,营养学硕士,商学硕士文凭

Do Gut Feelings Come From Our Gut?

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Trust your gut. Something that most of us have been advised (by others or our own intuition) at some point in our lives.  There is a lot of truth in those three words. Your gut is intricately linked to your brain via the ‘gut-brain-pathway’ (a complex two-way communication system). This pathway can provide vital information that can impact how you think, feel and act in many different situations.

A couple of years ago, a paper published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, explores whether gut feelings really come from the gut.

“Traditionally, scientists have focused on the role of the central nervous system in regulating our moods and behaviours, but a paradigm shift is afoot, with new research revealing a unique role of our gut microbiota in influencing emotion,” writes the paper’s author, M.J. Friedrich.

The Gut-Brain Relationship

Our gut is connected to our brain via more than 100 million neurons and the gut itself literally feeds gut feelings directly to the brain. Think of “butterflies in our tummies” or feeling “sick to the gut’. What happens in our gut really does influence what goes on in our minds! There is a lot of emerging research linking gut health to everything from sleep, anxiety disorders and depression, as well as medical conditions associated with changes in mood, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is considered a “gut-brain disorder”, since it is often worsened by stress. Many IBS sufferers also have difficulties with depression or anxiety. Ongoing research is investigating whether gut bacteria are one reason for the mood symptoms in IBS, as well as the gastrointestinal pain, diarrhoea and constipation.

Micro-organisms in our gut secrete a significant amount of chemicals. Some of these are the same substances used by our neurons to communicate and regulate mood, like dopamine, serotonin and gamma- aminobutyric acid (GABA). These chemicals appear to play a function in intestinal disorders, which coincide with high levels of major depression and anxiety. The more that scientists discover about the role of the gut, the more it becomes very clear that having a healthy gut microbiome is essential for good brain health and overall mental health.

 

What is a “healthy” gut?

If having a healthy gut is the key to lifelong happiness, how do we get our gut into tiptop shape? Generally, a healthy gut means a diversity of bacteria. To achieve diversity, we need to eat a range of different types of fibre.

The key seems to be in eating the right type of fibre. There are two key types categories of fibre – fermentable and non-fermentable. Non-fermentable fibre has a laxative effect, whereas fermentable is the type of fibre, which feeds the bacteria in our bellies. Feeding these bacteria can help to achieve optimal gut health, which in turn can influence our happiness and prevent a range of gut-related diseases. Fermentable fibre can be found naturally in whole grains, stone-ground cereals, bananas, brown rice, legumes, pulses and BARLEYmax™.

 

The future for gut brain health

The emerging research into gut-brain health is very exciting.

Animal research is investigating whether the transfer of compounds found in the feces of infant monkeys into another monkey’s intestine, can change their neurodevelopment. Even more intriguingly, in a study published this year, gut microbiota samples from people with major depression were used to colonise bacteria-free rats. These rats went on to show behavioural changes related to depression. Human studies have found people with major depression have different bacteria in their faeces to healthy volunteers. But it’s not yet clear why there is a difference, or even what counts as a “normal” gut microbiota.

There are still so many questions to answer. If altering the gut’s microbes can change behavior, which microbes are most important? What does it take to tip the scales toward the right ones? We simply don’t have good answers yet, but imagine what the future holds for curing human disease.

If you can achieve optimal gut health, then you certainly can rely on your gut instincts!

Teri Lichtenstein
BSc (Hons), MNutrDiet, Grad, Dip Business

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