Beets are an often overlooked food. Passed by on salad bars and shunned in the produce section in favor of a vegetable easier and tastier, such as sweet corn or green beans. If you have a problem with cholesterol, you may want to consider adding beets to your diet. Beets can not only keep cholesterol levels down, even when eating a fatty diet, but they can raise good (HDL) cholesterol levels, which also work to lower bad (LDL) levels, according to a study published in the Winter 2008 issue of “Nutrition Research and Practice.” Add beets to your diet at least two times per week.
Select fresh beets at your grocer’s or local farmer’s market. Look for beets without nicks, bruises or cuts and that still have their greens attached.
Wash the beets only if you are getting ready to immediately use them. Gently scrub them with a vegetable brush under cool running water. Do not peel the beets or remove the skin, as this will help keep the pigment and flavor in the beets while cooking. If you wish, you can peel the skin off the beets after they have been cooked.
Boil the beets on the stove for a warm vegetable side dish. Don’t cut the beets up, but simply cut the greens off, leaving 1 inch of the stems, and leave the root end intact. Beets can be cut further after cooking. Cooking times will vary based on the size of the beets. To test and see if they are done, stick a fork in one of them.
Grate a raw beet up and add it to your green salad. Raw beets add flavor and color to your fresh greens. The raw beets also contain high fiber. An abstract report from the Research Institute of Nutrition in the Slovak Republic states that when research rats were fed beet fiber, their cholesterol and triglyceride levels were reduced by 30 to 40 percent.
Wash a raw beet, peel it, cut it into quarters and put 1/4 in a juicer with another vegetable or fruit, such as carrot or apple. Beet juice contains a lot of sugar and is highly concentrated, so don’t consume it in high amounts. If you suffer from high cholesterol, you may suffer from blood pressure as well. Drinking beet juice can lower your blood pressure within three hours after consumption, according to a report in the March 2008 issue of “Hypertension.”