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Millions of people search the internet for improved health information to help them lower their cholesterol levels. They are looking for "do-it-yourself" ideas and strategies that can cure their cholesterol in a matter of days. Before considering treatment options, it's critical to understand why cholesterol affects us in the first place. Cholesterol, like many other health issues, is heavily influenced by your lifestyle and dietary habits. You will not be able to overcome cholesterol unless you modify the quality of your food and lifestyle.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a kind of fat that your body naturally manufactures and detects in your blood. It's also present in eggs, offal (such as kidney and liver), and shellfish. Cholesterol is required for normal physiological function.
Hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol levels in the blood, hastens atherosclerosis. This occurs when plaque accumulates in the arteries walls, constricting them. This restricts blood flow through them, perhaps leading to a heart attack or stroke.
Types of cholesterol:
There are no signs or indicators of elevated cholesterol. A blood test will be required to determine if you have it. A blood test will reveal the levels of 'good' and 'bad' cholesterol in your blood (explained below).
Cholesterol is carried throughout the body via a variety of 'carriers' (also called lipoproteins). The two most prevalent are as follows:
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the 'bad' cholesterol (LDL). LDL cholesterol is deemed 'bad' because it sticks to the insides of your arteries excessively.
High-density lipoprotein(HDL), is the "good" cholesterol (HDL). Because it eliminates 'bad' cholesterol from your blood arteries, HDL cholesterol is referred to as 'good' cholesterol.
Triglycerides are the most common kind of fat in the body, and they play a role in fat storage and blood transport. Triglycerides are formed from any extra energy in your diet that your body does not need.
A high total blood cholesterol level is a measurement of all cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood that has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease.
Is it possible to lower my cholesterol by making dietary changes?
Certain foods may assist in cholesterol-lowering and general heart health improvement.
Eating a broad range of plant foods is a great place to start. Here are a few such examples:
Plant-based foods are abundant in vitamins and minerals, as well as heart-healthy fats and fiber. All of these things help to maintain a healthy heart.
Some foods have been demonstrated to help decrease cholesterol levels in various ways. Include the following ingredients in your meals if at all possible:
1. Oats and barley:
Whole grains reduce your risk of acquiring heart disease. Because they contain 'beta-glucan,' a kind of soluble fiber, oats, and barley are especially healthy. Beta-glucan aids in the reduction of 'bad' LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
2. Getting enough fruits and veggies:
Eating a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits on a regular basis will help protect you against heart disease, stroke, and a variety of cancers. Many vegetables and fruits include soluble fiber, which assists in cholesterol absorption and decreases 'bad' LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
3. Food’s high in heart-healthy fats:
Consuming a variety of heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated fat-rich foods improves blood levels of 'good' HDL cholesterol.
These meals include heart-healthy fats.
Consuming these items instead of meals high in saturated fat may help you decrease your cholesterol (butter, cream, animal fats). It also reduces your risk of acquiring heart disease.
4. Lentils and beans:
Soluble fiber and plant-based protein are abundant in chickpeas and lentils, for example. Consuming legumes and beans instead of meat (animal protein) may help decrease your 'bad' LDL cholesterol.
Nuts include heart-healthy lipids and fiber, which may aid in the maintenance of a healthy cholesterol level. Consumption of nuts has been linked to lower levels of triglycerides and 'bad' LDL cholesterol.
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