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Steamed Veggies or Raw Veggies for Healthy Cholesterol?

Steamed Veggies or Raw Veggies for Healthy Cholesterol?

Nothing could be healthier for your heart than a plateful of raw veggies, right?

Actually, a little steam treatment could be even better. Research suggests that steaming might improve the cholesterol-lowering capabilities of certain produce.

Lost in digestion
When researchers tested the digestive effects of both raw and steamed veggies—beets, okra, carrots, eggplant, green beans, asparagus, and cauliflower—something interesting happened. It's not clear why, but the steamed veggies did a better job of binding to bile acids. And that's a good thing. It means more bile acids get excreted, which in turn means the liver needs more bad LDL cholesterol to make bile—which means there's less LDL circulating in your body.

Veggie contingency plan
Raw or steamed, your goal is to eat at least five servings of vegetables every day. But if you don't always hit that goal, here are some ways to make sure that every bite of vegetables is working hard for you:

Medically reviewed in April 2019.

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