Foods to Combat High Cholesterol Levels

Thursday, September 01, 2016

You often hear people say that not all cholesterol is bad; that there is actually a good type of cholesterol that our body uses to keep us healthy. And of course, you would know that the bad type will cause harm and increase your risks of getting certain types of illnesses. But, what exactly is cholesterol? Which one is good and which one is bad? And how do you keep your good cholesterol and reduce the bad one?

Cholesterol is a special kind of fat that our body uses for the following functions: vitamin D synthesis, production of hormones and cell membrane, and production of bile acid – a substance that is important for our digestion. There are two well-known types of cholesterol: HDL (good) and LDL (bad). Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaque – a thick and hard deposit in your arteries that could clog them. On the other hand, HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL from the arteries.

High levels of LDL indicate more plaque clogging your arteries. And this can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.

So, how do you decrease your high cholesterol levels?

There are different factors as to why one can have a high cholesterol level: genes, being overweight, physical inactivity, and eating food that contains a lot of saturated fat, which can raise your cholesterol level. However, there are actually certain kinds of food that will help lower your level of cholesterol.

Some of these are:

1.Soya. Aside from its naturally low amount of saturated fat, the special protein in soya also influences your body’s regulation of cholesterol.
2.Nuts. 30 to 35 grams of nuts each day can lower your cholesterol by 5% in average.
3.Barley and oats. They are rich in beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that helps in binding cholesterol and preventing it from being absorbed.
4.Fruits and veggies. They are a good source of cholesterol-lowering soluble fibers.
5.Food rich in unsaturated fats. These include olive, corn, rapeseed, and avocado among others.

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