What is Cholesterol? Cholesterol is important to the normal functioning of our body. But anything in excess can harm you. Elevated cholesterol levels can thicken arteries and even clog them. This puts you at the risk of coronary artery diseases and heart diseases.
Cholesterol travels through the blood to a protein called a lipoprotein. One of its types called low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are called bad cholesterols. A high LDL causes cholesterol buildup in arteries which results in debilitating medical issues. However, high-density lipoproteins (HDL) are known as good cholesterol. They carry cholesterol from arteries back to the liver.
How Does Diet Reduce Cholesterol Level:
There are two major diet plans to bring down your cholesterol levels:
DASH stands for diet approaches to stop hypertension. It includes eating plan based research by the national heart, lungs and blood
institute. This helps to reduce blood pressure and improves cholesterol level. This reduces your risk of getting heart diseases.
The DASH plan emphasises on:
●Vegetables, fruits and whole grains
●Fat-free or low fat diary, poultry, fish, beans, nuts and vegetable
●Limits food high in saturated fats
●Limits sugar added beverages and sweets.
Therapeutic diet includes the following :
1.OPT FOR HEALTHY FATS
No more than 25 to 35 percent of fat should come from dietary fats and less than 7 should come from saturated fat. Saturated fat is bad because it raises your LDL. It is found in red meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods and deep-fried products.
Trans fat raises your LDL and lowers your HDL. It mostly compromises hydrogenated oils and fats such as stick margarine, crackers, and french fries. Instead of such fats healthy fats nuts, lean meat, and unsaturated oils like canola, olive, and safflower oils.
2.REDUCE CHOLESTEROL INTAKE
Reduce oral intake of cholesterol to 200mg a day. It is high in animal-derived foods such as organ meat, whole milk, egg yolk, shrimp.
3.CONSUME SOLUBLE FIBRE
Foods high in soluble fibre prevent the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive tract. Its includes :
●Oat-meal and oat-bran
●Fruits like apple, banana, oranges
●Legumes such as kidney beans, lentil, chick-peas
4.CONSUME DIET RICH IN OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Omega-3 fatty acids do not lower LDL but increase the level of HDL. It also protects our heart from inflammation and clots and prevents cardiac attacks. Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acids.It greatly helps to lower Cholesterol
5.LIMIT SALT INTAKE
Limit your salt intake to 2300mg per day (no more than 1 tablespoon) and it includes the table salt, sodium you take, and salt already added in your food. Opt for low-salt or no added salt so that your blood pressure lowers down and heart diseases are prevented.
6.LIMIT ALCOHOL INTAKE
Alcohol is high in calories and it adds to your weight. This simultaneously shoots up your LDL level while decreasing HDL level. To add, it risens triglycerides level and invites deadly heart issues.
Make sure you check all food labels. Check the level of fats, cholesterol, fiber, and sodium before you purchase them. Picking the right food beforehand is the smartest way to move towards a healthy lifestyle.