Favorite Holiday Dish Can Help Cholesterol!

While most Americans will have a smaller Christmas than we’re used to this year, we’ll probably be having many of the same dishes we usually do. A side many of us look forward to is the roast carrots! Butter and sugar your family may add to the dish might not make it the healthiest thing on the table, but carrots themselves are a great vegetable that can aid your cholesterol levels and other aspects of your health!

Carrots are a great source of vitamins A, K1 and B6, as well as biotin and potassium. They are also filled with healthy antioxidants that lower the risk of chronic illnesses and cancers. Lycopene found in carrots can protect you from heart disease, while lutein is responsible for eye health — we all know carrots help eye health! Another great benefit of carrots is that they are low-calorie and high in water. They can fill you up and have been linked to weight loss when added to a healthy diet!

A half a cup of carrots has 25 calories, six grams of carbs and two grams of fiber. The fiber in carrots can improve gut health, help reduce constipation, aid blood sugar levels and absorb cholesterol from food before it has a chance to be absorbed into your body. While most cholesterol comes from your liver, lowering the amount of cholesterol you get from your diet helps your overall levels. In one study, people who ate 200 grams of raw carrots for breakfast for three weeks reduced their serum cholesterol level by 11 percent. The beta-carotene that gives carrots their orange color converts to vitamin A and prevents the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries.

Be aware that it is possible to eat too many carrots. But, if you are pale-skinned, nature will let you know if you overdo it: you’ll turn an orange-yellow color. An overdose of beta-carotene can stop vitamin A from working in your body, and you can lose its beneficial properties. However, the problem can be reversed by a doctor. The bottom line is that you should enjoy carrots but not eat them by the bag full.

This Christmas or Hanukkah, cut back on the amount of fat or sugar you might usually prepare your carrots with. Roasting them with a little oil and spice can make them genuinely delicious without undermining their fantastic health properties! You can reap the reward while enjoying this in-season vegetable in a tasty way!  

Image: Jacqueline Brandwayn via Unsplash
December 16, 2020
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