Cholesterol is found naturally in our body and is essential because it helps absorb vitamins, helps digest food, and even affects hormones, among many other functions. However, despite its importance for the health and proper functioning of the body, it is necessary to keep it at bay. In this article, we will tell you how to reduce cholesterol. This article will indicate the foods that help you lower cholesterol.
On the other hand, we will explain what factors or foods can raise [cholesterol]. Remember that high [cholesterol] can seriously affect your cardiovascular health, arteries, etc.
Table of Contents
What is cholesterol? Importance for health
Cholesterol is also called High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL), Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL). The latter is the one that is popularly classified as bad cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a lipid or waxy substance that is very similar to fat, thanks to it. The body constantly produces cholesterol, which is directed and purified by the liver, which is beneficial for health. We have implications that allow us to digest food, vitamins, etc., which are essential for life.
However, an excess of cholesterol (LDL) can combine with other substances producing plaques, which adhere to the blood vessels, and can trigger problems with the coronary arteries. This, in turn, a wide variety of discomforts and even pests. Serious.
What causes high cholesterol? How can we lower cholesterol?
Bad [cholesterol] (LDL) is related to a poor diet; however, that is not the only reason. Next, we will indicate the main reasons why the LDL elevated.
Bad nutrition can increase cholesterol
- Many foods have [cholesterol], so you can develop high [cholesterol] if you eat many of them. At the same time, some foods cause the liver to produce more [cholesterol] than necessary. A diet concentrated in saturated fat, trans fat, fried foods, processed sweets, cakes, etc., can raise cholesterol.
- The conventional cigarette and even the latest technological appearances, such as the Vamper, also harm health since it reduces good [cholesterol], preventing lousy cholesterol.
Little physical exercise.
- Sports activities allow the body to digest food, and it helps the mind and heart, but a sedentary life combined with poor eating habits raises [cholesterol].
- Many people have a genetic tendency to have high [cholesterol]—the excessive production of cholesterol influences much more than any lifestyle habit.
How to reduce cholesterol?
To lower cholesterol and triglycerides, it is necessary to make changes in our eating habits; this means that we must avoid ultra-processed foods, sausages and pastries and reduce the consumption of red meat, among other things. Should avoid trans fats entirely.
On the other hand, it is necessary to make an effort to practice physical exercise; this will allow you to have an ideal weight. Of course, it is also essential to avoid habits that harm health, such as alcohol consumption and smoking.
In reality, sometimes the most challenging thing is to change eating habits due to the same lack of knowledge of the foods that are good for [cholesterol], so we want to talk to you about what you can eat to lower bad cholesterol.
Six foods to lower cholesterol
If you have great [cholesterol] and want to prevent heart disease and lower your [cholesterol], you should know that eating a healthy diet is the best medical treatment. Your diet should be rich in soluble fibre and leptin. According to the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC), these favour digestion.
On the other hand, professionals point out that it is necessary to include polyunsaturated fatty acids, which contain stanols and sterols. These are found in vegetables. Keeping these indications in mind, we will reveal the foods to lower cholesterol.
Nuts include walnuts, almonds, and walnuts, among others. They reduce bad [cholesterol] by 4% and raise good [cholesterol] by 7%. Therefore, you can consume them daily at breakfast. At least 40 grams is recommended without adding salt. It is also excellent as a snack to replace the consumption of sweets or processed foods.
Oatmeal is the number 1 cereal and helps lower cholesterol. It has soluble fibre and reduces the LDL that circulates in the blood. In addition, it contributes to intestinal transit. Its consumption is recommended in the mornings, and preferably that the cereal (oatmeal) is cooked. The ideal dose is one and a half cups.
Oily fish provides Omega-3, which is beneficial for cardiovascular health, as it reduces blood pressure and the appearance or development of blood clots.
Eating grilled fish twice a week provides the body with fats that are not harmful to health. In the preparation, you can add olive oil and lean towards the consumption of sardines, albacore tuna, salmon, mackerel, etc.
You can also take fish oil supplements to get some nutrients or lean towards Omega-3 intake.
Vegetables have always been associated with a good diet and are foods that help lower cholesterol. And it is that these provide stanols and, sterols, fibre, which contribute to digestion and reduce the absorption of bad [cholesterol]. You can consume broccoli, spinach, and all green leafy vegetables.
Legumes such as soybeans, lentils, and peas provide you with a good level of vegetable protein and fibre, increasing HDL (good cholesterol) and decreasing bad cholesterol (LDL) and are perfect foods to lower cholesterol.
The consumption of legumes can be regular, at least three times a week, and the consumption dose recommended by experts is between 11 and 50 grams.
Fruits provide you with essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals and help lower cholesterol. The apple’s skin helps to slow down the oxidation of LDL, and it is an antioxidant. Similarly, according to the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry studies, watermelon and lemon can reduce cholesterol by up to 20%.
On the other hand, avocado is beneficial for hypercholesterolemia; its intake recommended for a balanced diet.