To lower high cholesterol levels and keep them in an appropriate measure, the first step is to follow a proper diet. Cholesterol is defined as a lipid, ie, a fatty substance found in all human body tissues. Blood has a high percentage of water, and as cholesterol is a fatty substance, it can not travel through the bloodstream by itself (since fat and water do not mix). So in order to reach all body cells, cholesterol molecules are transported through the bloodstream by adhering to proteins called lipoproteins.
Types of cholesterol
– Serum cholesterol: this type of cholesterol circulating in the blood constantly. It is measured in routine blood tests. It is composed of HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.
– Dietary cholesterol: it is consumed through food, mainly in animal products.
Foods high in cholesterol
A more detailed article on the foods to avoid because of high cholesterol is available on cholesterolmenu.com.
It is convenient to limit or avoid eating these foods especially if you have been diagnosed with high levels of blood cholesterol.
How the body need cholesterol?
There is no specific amount of cholesterol to the body, however, it is considered that this is different for each person so it requires a study called “lipid profile” to determine. If a person consumes large amounts of cholesterol in his daily diet, the liver decreases production without stopping it completely, resulting in high levels of serum cholesterol. There are people who naturally produce excess cholesterol in their body, even when they limit and control their diet.
If a person has high cholesterol, he is at risk of premature death from a heart attack or a stroke. It is important that all people go to the doctor regularly so they know their cholesterol levels. Patients with levels that are off the healthy ranges must follow a special diet to lower cholesterol.
Tips for lowering cholesterol
– Regularly measure your cholesterol levels.
– Limit foods high in cholesterol to less than 300 mg daily.
– Cut down on fat, especially saturated found mainly in animal products.
– Try out a diet rich in vitamin C, niacin (vitamin B), vitamin E and essential omega-3, which can cover with 3-5 servings of vegetables and fruit a day.
– Try cooking with low-fat methods such as steam oven, grill; also boil foods instead of frying.
– Increase your intake of fish such as salmon and cod, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can balance and even reduce cholesterol levels.
– Replace meat with legumes (lentils and beans). It is recommended to accompany with brown rice and other whole grains.
– Replace whole milk with skim or having only 1% fat. This rule also goes for yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products.
– Use mustard or low-fat salad dressings and mayonnaise.
– Take adequate amounts of water each day.
– Avoid increased activity of the liver due to the impact of excess stress (liver must work harder to process excess adrenaline), the faster it works, the more it produces cholesterol.
– Eat low-fat desserts.
– Exercise to help reduce cholesterol levels, burn calories, maintain an ideal weight, reduce blood pressure and stress.
If you follow the recommendations above, you should be able to lower your cholesterol in 12 weeks.
General recommendations for a diet without cholesterol, are equally useful for anyone wishing to start a healthy diet even if your cholesterol levels are normal.