Pineapple And Cholesterol: Can Pineapples Have An Impact?

Can pineapples positively affect your cholesterol level? On this page we provide information on how pineapples can affect your cholesterol levels as well as the overall health of your body’s circulatory system. We also provide a variety of ideas of pleasant ways to integrate pineapples into your overall diet.

Impact of Pineapple on Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Health

While pineapples contain no cholesterol they can have a positive effect on your cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health, as described in the following sections.

Fiber in Pineapples

cholesterol

One hundred grams of pineapple have 1.4 grams of fiber, which represents 6% of the daily recommended value, based on a 2,000 daily calorie diet. (See the tables below that show nutrition information on pineapples.) Research has demonstrated that higher intake of dietary fiber is correlated with lower levels of stroke and cardiovascular risk and higher HDL serum cholesterol levels in high-risk individuals. [1]

Sterols in Pineapple and Their Impact on Cholesterol

Among fruits and vegetables, pineapples have a moderate amount of sterols. There are 6 mg of phytosterols (plant sterols) in every 100 grams of pineapple. Sterols (and the related stanols) are naturally-occurring chemicals in plants. They limit intestinal absorption of cholesterol and lessen LDL serum cholesterol levels. [1]

Some research shows that eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in stanols/sterols has shown to further reduce LDL by 20% and adding sterols/stanols to statin medication seems more effective than doubling the statin dose. [2]

Antioxidants in Pineapple, Including Polyphenols and Flavonoids

cholesterol antioxidant

Pineapples are one of the fruits highest in the flavonoid antioxidant Vitamin C, containing 47.8 mg per 100 grams of raw pineapple. This equals 80% of the daily recommended value. (See the pineapple nutrition information tables below).

Flavonoids are a class of polyphenols, which are a kind of plant-based antioxidant. Research studies have found many benefits of flavonoids, including fewer heart attacks [3] and less mortality from heart disease [4].

The effects of Vitamin C specifically on cardiovascular health have been studied and indicated also to be associated with lower levels of cardiovascular disease mortality and lower cholesterol levels. [5]

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a way to measure the antioxidant capacities of foods when eaten. The graph shows ORAC information for raw pineapple.

Pineapple contains 562 micromoles/litre of Trolox equivalents per 100 grams, the total ORAC value of Pineapple.

  • The H-ORAC value for Pineapple is 520.
  • The L-ORAC value for Pineapple is 42.
  • The total phenolic content of Pineapple is 122 mg GAE/100 g.

Nutrition Information on Pineapple

The following tables display nutrition data on 100 grams of raw pineapple.

Macronutrients In Pineapple

Component
Amount
% Daily Value*
Calories
50
Protein
.54 g
1%
Carbohydrate
13.12 g
4%
Fat
.12 g
0%
Fiber
1.4 g
6%
Sugar
9.85 g
Water
86 g
Ash
.22

*The daily value is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

Fat Types In Pineapple

Fat Type
Amount
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
.01
0%
Monosaturated Fat
.01 g

*The daily value is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

Vitamins In Pineapple

Vitamin
Amount
% Daily Value*
Vitamin C
47.8 mg
80%
Vitamin E
.02 mg
0%
Vitamin A – IU
58 IU
1%
Vitamin D – IU
0 IU
0%
Thiamin – B1
.08 mg
5%
Riboflavin – B2
.03 mg
2%
Niacin – B3
.5 mg
3%
Vitamin B6
.11 mg
6%
Vitamin B12
0 mcg
0%
Folic Acid
0 mg
Food Folate
18 mg

*The daily value is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

Minerals in Pineapple

Mineral
Amount
% Daily Value*
Calcium
13 mg
1%
Magnesium
12 mg
3%
Iron
.29 mg
2%
Zinc
.12 mg
1%
Sodium
1 mg
0%
Phosphorus
8 mg
1%
Potassium
109 mg
3%
Manganese
.93 mg
46%
Copper
.11 mg
5%
Selenium
.1 mg
0%

*The daily value is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

Ways to Eat Pineapple

A great way to eat pineapple is simply slicing it or cutting it into chunks and eating it plain. Or you can put small pieces into cottage cheese or yogurt. Pineapple by itself is so sweet that I sometimes like the balance that the protein in the yogurt or cottage cheese brings. You can add it to salads, for example a delicious pineapple carrot salad.

It is most healthy to eat raw pineapple, as cooking the pineapple diminishes its nutrient profile. However, there are certainly many delicious ways to enjoy cooked or baked pineapple. Grilled pineapple is delicious. Pineapple goes well with ham and other pork. A pineapple cheese casserole is delightful Some delicious baked goods include pineapple cheesecake, pineapple tarts, and pineapple layer cake.

References

[1] Badimon, L., Vilahur, G. and Padro, T. “Nutraceuticals and Atherosclerosis: Human Trials.” Cardiovascular Therapeutics 28, no. 4 (August 2010): 207-209. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5922.2010.00189.x

[2] Normen L, Holmes D, Frohlich J. “Plant Sterols and Their Role in Combined Use with Statins for Lipid Lowering.” Current Opinion in Investigational Drugs 6 (2005): 307–316.

[3] Hirvonen T, Pietinen P, Virtanen M, et al. “Intake of Flavonols And Flavones and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Male Smokers.” Epidemiology 12 (2001): 62–67.

[4] Hertog MG, Kromhout D, Aravanis C, et al. “Flavonoid Intake and Long-Term Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Cancer in the Seven Countries Study.” Archives of Internal Medicine 155, no. 4 (February 27, 1995): 381–386.

[5] Simon, JA. “Vitamin C and Cardiovascular Disease: a Review.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 11, no. 2 (April 1992): 107-125

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