‘Cholesterol’ is a word you hear very often when people are talking about health, but have you ever paused to think about what t actually means? Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in all the body’s cells.
Bad Versus Good Cholesterol
The body manufactures cholesterol and also obtains it from foods. It uses it to make vitamin D, hormones and other substances used to digest food. Cholesterol is distributed through the body in components called lipoproteins which are divided into two types – low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL).
LDL cholesterol is considered ‘bad’ cholesterol as high levels of it can lead to build up in the arteries and affect heart and blood distrubution functions. Meanwhile, HDL cholesterol is called ‘good; cholesterol as it carries cholesterol to the liver which then expels it from the body,
Therefore, the more LDL cholesterol you have in blood, the greater your chances of developing heart diseases, while the more HDL cholesterol, the lower your chances of developing it.
When it comes to diet, there are certain foods one can eat to lower bad levels of cholesterol and avoid to avoid a build-up of LDL cholesterol.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
Avoid Foods With Too Much Saturated Fat
Foods with too much saturated fat increase bad cholesterol levels.
Therefore, try to cut down on foods with high levels of saturated fat like butter, ghee, fatty meats and processed meats, full fat dairy, coconut and palm oils and desserts which are made using full fat dairy, butter and sugar.
Increase Your Intake Of Good Fats
Replace foods with saturated fats with foods filled with unsaturated fats. These include oils like olive oil, canola oil, fatty fish like tuna and salmon, chia seeds and flax seeds. A recent study also found that tree nuts (also unsaturated fats) lower cholesterol.
Foods To Reduce Cholesterol
Unsaturated fats have been found to reduce cholesterol. Other foods that reduce cholesterol include brands (like oats and rice), garlic, dark chocolate and green tea.
Whether you have high cholesterol levels or not, it’s always better to start making alterations to your diet for better overall health. By following these guidelines, you could go a long way in reducing the bad cholesterol levels in your body.
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