For your body to function normally, it needs some amount of cholesterol, including low-density lipoprotein. Typically, cholesterol is used in the formation of particular hormones, cell membranes, and vitamin D. You don’t need to worry about what to incorporate in your diet to add cholesterol to your body as it is produced naturally by the liver.
Cholesterol travels in the blood through the help of lipoproteins which are also produced in the liver. Lipoproteins come in two major forms: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and High-density lipoprotein (HDL).
High cholesterol is caused by excess LDL in the blood system, and if a person does not take immediate medical attention, it can result in numerous health problems, such as heart attack and stroke. Since there are no signs and symptoms of high cholesterol, it is imperative to check your cholesterol levels regularly.
High cholesterol levels in the body are very dangerous since it builds upon the walls of your arteries. This causes congestion to the arteries, limiting the blood flow, leading to increased risk potential of blood clots.
Different types of diet can increase the risk of high cholesterol levels in the body. Therefore, you need to incorporate foods that lower LDL in order to attain a low cholesterol diet. Since various food lowers cholesterol in different ways, it is advisable not to focus on only one or two types of foods. Instead, you should embrace several foods to lower cholesterol in different ways.
No doubt, observing and maintain a healthy diet can help improve your blood cholesterol. Below are popular diets that help reduce cholesterol:
If you are in the process of reducing your cholesterol levels, whole grains, especially oats and barley, should constantly appear in your diet. Incorporating whole grain in your diet minimizes the risk of heart diseases. One major advantage of oats and barley is that they contain a high soluble fiber known as beta-glucan, which helps to lower LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream.
Traditionally, barley was rarely used for human consumption. However, due to its numerous health benefits, it became an essential diet in human foods. While choosing oats products, ensure you use the products with maximum oats instead of going for supplements. You can eat barley alone or accompany it with other types of foods.
Including fruits and vegetables in your diet can help you lower your cholesterol and protect you from other diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Fruits and vegetables are rich in soluble fibers, which minimizes the absorption of cholesterol in the blood. Soluble fibers work by forming a gel that plays a role in binding cholesterol in the gut, inhibiting its reabsorption into the body.
Vegetables contain antioxidants and low calories, which is beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight. Some vegetables such as okra, eggplants, potatoes also contain pectin, which helps to reduce high cholesterol. For best results, eat more dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach. They are rich in carotenoids that act as antioxidants that help eliminate the harmful free radicals that increase the risk of hardened arteries. Dark leafy greens are also beneficial in lowering cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids causing your body to excrete more cholesterol. Fruits such as berries and grapes are rich in bioactive compounds, which help to increase HDL and reduce LDL cholesterol.
Instead of eating foods that are high in saturated fats, you can incorporate foods rich in heart-healthy fats as they lead to an upsurge in HDL cholesterol in your blood. Such foods include Avocado, nuts and seeds, olives, vegetable oils, and spreads.
Avocadoes are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber that help to lower LDL and raise HDL cholesterol. Also, foods such as oily fish have omega -3 fats which are good for lowering cholesterol.
Legumes are a significant source of soluble fiber and plant-based protein. Instead of eating the animal proteins such as meat, you can eat more plant proteins such as chickpeas, beans, and lentils. Some legumes such as soybeans also play a role in reducing high cholesterol and minimizing heart disease risk factors.
Nuts, too, especially almonds and walnuts, are good sources of unsaturated fats and help cut off saturated fats, which plays a role in managing cholesterol levels. Nuts are also rich in fiber which inhibits the absorption of cholesterol in the bloodstream from the gut.
Garlic is commonly used in cooking, but it is also used to treat various medical conditions. It is one of the most used herbal supplements used to lower cholesterol levels. Just like the drug Atenolol, garlic extract is known to cholesterol levels in the body. Garlic contains Allicin that reduces the clotting properties and other plant compounds known to reduce the total LDL.
Olive oil is processed naturally from the olive tree. It comes in three grades, namely refined, virgin and extra virgin. Extra virgin is known to contain many health benefits compared to the other two. It has plenty of vitamins E and K and other beneficial fatty acids.
Extra virgin is a heart-healthy food known to prevent certain diseases such as stroke and heart attack. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which helps in raising HDL and reducing LDL cholesterol. It also contains antioxidants that help to fight major diseases and also help to boost heart functions. The oxidants also contain substances such as anti-inflammatory oleocanthal and oleuropein that inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
High cholesterol levels are a significant risk to your general health. Fortunately, you can minimize this risk by adding certain foods to your diet. It is important to add food such as vegetables, fruits, legumes. Garlic and others as they reduced high cholesterol intake. The more you incorporate foods that can lower your cholesterol level, the higher the chances of living a healthy life.