If you’re struggling with high-cholesterol or fear struggling with it in the future, learn here how you can control your cholesterol levels through the foods you eat.
Cholesterol is made in the liver. It has various important functions. For instance, it is required for making several hormones and it keeps the walls of cells flexible.
But just like anything else in the body, cholesterol in the wrong places or too much cholesterol causes problems. It does not dissolve in water like fat.
Instead, the transportation of cholesterol in your body depends on the molecules known as lipoproteins. They carry fat, fat-soluble vitamins and cholesterol in the blood.
There are different types of lipoproteins and they all have different effects on your health.
For instance, high levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) lead to cholesterol deposits in blood vessel walls. This results in kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, and clogged arteries.
On the other hand HDL or high-density lipoprotein carries cholesterol away from the vessel walls. It prevents diseases.
This post will help you lower your cholesterol levels, that is to say, lower the bad LDL cholesterol and increase the good HDL cholesterol.
1. Increase Monosaturated Fats
Unsaturated fats have at least a double chemical bond which alters the way they are used by the body, unlike saturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats only have one double bond. Low-fat diets help decrease harmful levels of LDL but also decrease beneficial HDL levels.
In contrast to this, a diet that is rich in monounsaturated fats decreases harmful LDL and it even protects higher levels of healthy HDL. Various researches also support it.
The oxidation of lipoproteins is also reduced by monounsaturated fats which causes clogged arteries. Therefore, opt for monounsaturated fats.
Some even provide polyunsaturated fat such as avocados, tree nuts like cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts and almonds, and canola, olives, and olive oil.
2. Use Polyunsaturated Fats (Like Omega-3s)
Polyunsaturated fats behave differently in the body as compared to saturated fats because they have many double bonds.
Research suggests that polyunsaturated fats decrease bad LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids are your best friend. They are a heart-healthy type of polyunsaturated fat. They are found in fish oil supplements and seafood.
3. Avoid Trans Fats
Unsaturated fats undergo a process of modification known as hydrogenation to form trans fats.
Shortenings and many kinds of margarine are made from partially hydrogenated oils. Thus the trans fats are not completely saturated.
Food companies use trans fats in food products such as cookies, pastries, and spreads. They offer texture to unsaturated oils.
Always read the food labels and avoid trans fats. The food label should contain partially hydrogenated oil so that you know to avoid it.
4. Eat Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber dissolves in water which cannot be digested by humans. But, the beneficial bacteria found in soluble fiber continue to live in the intestines.
Moreover, it requires its nutrition. The good bacteria are also known as probiotics as it reduces harmful lipoproteins, VLDL and LDL.
Eating soluble fiber reduces the risk of many diseases. Grains and cereals provide a good amount of soluble fiber and should be incorporated into your daily diet.