That’s according to this article which suggests they could be as effective as statins in fighting bad cholesterol. According to the article as little as two ounces of tomato paste or a pint of tomato juice could be enough to help many patients. Ripe tomatoes are high in the compound lycopene which gives them their red colour. It is this anti oxidant that helps to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes. A study carried out in Australia analysed the benefits of lycopene and concluded that it could provide a natural defence to raised levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Cooked tomatoes are more beneficial than raw ones as the body is able to absorb more lycopene from these. I’m not particularly at risk of any of these conditions but with all the pasta sauce I make, feel sure I am getting a very good dose of lycopene.