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Carrots & Cholesterol

By Nina K.

Carrots are a cholesterol-free food and contain substances that may even help reduce cholesterol levels in your blood, fighting dangerous plaque buildup. In fact, no fruit or vegetable contains cholesterol, as it is only found in animal products. The body also produces cholesterol, however, so a low-cholesterol diet does not always guarantee low cholesterol levels in your bloodstream.

Soluble Fiber and Cholesterol

Each cup of raw, chopped carrots contains 3.6 grams of dietary fiber, which is more than 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance of 20 to 35 grams. Much of carrots' fiber is soluble fiber, which may help reduce blood-cholesterol levels. According to the University of Arizona College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, soluble fiber binds to bile acids, which contain cholesterol, and carries them through the gastrointestinal tract until they are excreted as waste.

Why Cholesterol Matters

Although you need some cholesterol for proper health, low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, can build up in your arteries and increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. The American Heart Association recommends eating a balanced diet -- which includes carrots and other vegetables -- and engaging in regular exercise to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

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