If you have unhealthy cholesterol levels (or want to prevent them), one of the first things you should examine is your diet. Are you eating foods that help reduce cholesterol? Or avoiding the ones that cause unhealthy cholesterol levels to creep higher?
This series will cover 10 cholesterol-lowering foods you should consider grabbing the next time you're at the grocery store.
Include lycopene-rich tomato products in your diet every day for a few weeks, and you may knock your bad LDL cholesterol levels down by as much as 10 percent, according to a recent study. Researchers think the lycopene in tomatoes inhibits LDL production while at the same time helping break down this artery-clogging fat. You'll need to consume at least 25 milligrams of lycopene a day for cholesterol benefits. That's about a half cup of tomato sauce. Bring on the marinara!
Such good news as I do luv my tomatoes and especially marinara and other tomato sauces - indeed, bring it on!!!
tells us that
- There are at least 10,000 varieties of tomatoes.
- The key ingredient in 78% of Americans favorite recipes is tomatoes.
- According to the USDA, 105,700 acres of Tomatoes were harvested for the fresh market in 2009. An additional 327,800 acres were harvested for processing (canning, freezing, etc.).
- Florida and California accounted for 70% of the U.S. fresh tomato production. California accounted for 95% of processed tomato production.
- China is the largest producer of tomatoes in the world, producing over 16% of all tomatoes.
- The first tomato plants were planted in Greece by a Friar Francis in 1818, in the gardens of a Capuchin monastery at the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates (built in 335 B.C.) in Athens.
- Supposedly Ronald Reagan didn't eat a tomato for 70 years. His dislike of tomatoes sprang from a childhood prank. He had been given what he thought was an apple, but when he took a bite realized it was a tomato.
- The smallest species of tomatoes are less than three-quarters of an inch in diameter. There are both red and yellow varieties.
- The highest concentration of vitamin C in tomatoes is in the jelly-like substance around the seeds.
- Tomatoes are a natural source of the antioxidant 'lycopene', which may help prevent heart disease.
-***ACCORDING TO SCIENTISTS, MORE LYCOPENE IS ABSORBED BY THE BODY FROM COOKED TOMATOES THAN FROM FRESH TOMATOES. 1/2 CUP OF CANNED TOMATOES DELIVERS MORE THAN 3 TIMES THE LYCOPENE AS FOUND IN ONE MEDIUM RAW TOMATO.***
- Pace Foods (picante sauce & salsas) uses about 35 million pounds of fresh tomatoes every year.
- Tomato juice is the official state beverage of Ohio.
- The Tomato was named the Official Fruit of Ohio in 2009.
- The Tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum) was designated as the Official Fruit of Tennessee in 2003.
- In 2003, Louisiana designated the Creole Tomato as the official State Vegetable Plant.
- The tomato is also the official state Vegetable of New Jersey.
- The South Arkansas vine ripe pink tomato is Arkansas' official state Fruit and also the official state Vegetable.
Homemade Salsa Using Canned Tomatoes
Makes 3 cups
1 1/2 cans canned tomatoes with juice
3 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 lime, juice of
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt ( or to taste)*
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
Process in food processor or blender for just a few seconds for chunky salsa or a bit longer for a smoother texture.
Serving Size: 1 (470 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 1
Calories - 38.9
Total Fat - 0.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 917.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Sugars 4.1 g
Protein 1.5 g
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food." ~ Hippocrates