f you’re here, that means you care for your health or want to reduce your cholesterol level.
The human body needs cholesterol to do bodily functions perfectly. But our body needs everything in a moderation.
If cholesterol level increases in the blood, it sticks in the arteries wall and may narrow down the area or block. This increases the risks of diseases like coronary artery disease and other heart diseases.
- 1 What is cholesterol?
- 2 Treatment Tips for High Cholesterol
- 2.1 1. Soluble Fibre Rich Foods
- 2.2 2. Add fruits and vegetables into your diet
- 2.3 3. Cook your meal with Herbs and Spices
- 2.4 4. Unsaturated Fats
- 2.5 5. Avoid Artificial Trans-fats
- 2.6 6. Limit salts
- 2.7 7. Limit Alcohol consumption
- 2.8 8. Quit Smoking
- 2.9 9. Include soy in your diet
- 2.10 10. Drink Green tea
- 2.11 11. Supplements
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is produced by the liver and eating animal foods such as meat, poultry, and other dairy products.
These foods contain high saturated fats and trans fats and the liver tends to produce extra unnecessary cholesterol. These unnecessary extra cholesterol are unhealthy.
Cholesterol travels through the blood on proteins called “lipoproteins’’. Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol in the human body.
1. LDL (Low-density lipoprotein)
Sometimes referred to as bad cholesterol. If LDL level increases in the body it raises the risk of heart disease and stroke.
2. HDL (High-density lipoprotein)
HDL is referred to as good cholesterol. It absorbs cholesterol and sends it back to the liver. The liver then removes from the body. High HDL lowers the risk for heart diseases and stroke.
Treatment Tips for High Cholesterol
The treatment for high cholesterol is a change in diet, lifestyle, and medicines. The most essential is healthy eating and physical activities.
Here are some tips that will help you to lower cholesterol
1. Soluble Fibre Rich Foods
Eating plenty of soluble Fibers which helps to prevent the digestive tract from absorbing cholesterol.
To break down soluble Fiber human body needs enzymes. As it lacks in the human body, it goes through your digestive tracts, absorbs water, and makes a thick paste.
As it travels through the digestive tracts soluble fiber absorbs bile (a substance that helps digest fats produced by the liver). Finally, fiber and bile are discharged through your stool.
Bile helps to lower cholesterol levels naturally. As it is made from cholesterol when your liver needs more bile, it takes cholesterol from the bloodstream.
Consuming soluble fibers regularly may reduce 5-10 percent reduction in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol within four weeks.
Foods that contain soluble fiber are
- Whole grains cereals such as oatmeal
- Fruits- Bananas, Orange, Pears, apples
- Legumes- kidney beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, lentils
2. Add fruits and vegetables into your diet
Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet helps to reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
The antioxidant level in fruits and vegetables are high, which helps to prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and developing plaques in your arteries.
Studies say that adults who consume 4 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day have 6% lower cholesterol levels than those who consume less than serving.
Anti-oxidants which is found in fruits and vegetables and lowering cholesterol level can reduce the risk of heart diseases.
3. Cook your meal with Herbs and Spices
Herbs and Spices contain lots of nutritious elements like vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.
Ginger and turmeric can be eaten regularly because they are very effective in lowering cholesterol levels.
Herbs and spices are not recommended to eat in a larger amount on a daily basis. You can take it in a moderation.
Dry oregano, mint, clove, cinnamon, thyme, sage contains a high amount of anti-oxidants. You can take fresh herbs like oregano, dill, cilantro, and marjoram.
4. Unsaturated Fats
There are two kinds of fats found in foods: Saturated fat and unsaturated fat.
By replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can reduce 9 percent total cholesterol level and 11 percent bad LDL cholesterol within eight weeks. This was found in research.
If you are consuming more unsaturated fats and less saturated fats, then your cholesterol level probably will stay low over time.
You can have foods like avocados, olives, and nuts regularly to get the benefit.
5. Avoid Artificial Trans-fats
Trans fats are found mostly in red meat and dairy products. Now, artificial trans fats are used in many restaurants and processed foods. Artificial trans fats are produced by hydrogenating unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils to change their structure.
Natural trans fats found in meat and dairy products can also increase the LDL cholesterol level. But they are a very small amount not considered as a health risk. But artificial trans fats contain a higher risk of heart diseases.
6. Limit salts
Try to eat salt not more than one tablespoon a day. That includes everything added while cooking, present on the table, or already present in the foods.
Limiting salt will help you to lower the cholesterol level as well as reduce the risk of heart diseases.
7. Limit Alcohol consumption
Alcohol adds extra calories to your body and results in weight gain. Being overweight automatically increases your LDL level and decreases your HDL level.
Consuming more alcohol can increase your blood pressure and triglyceride level and it increases your risk of heart diseases.
Men can have 2 glasses or women can have one glass containing alcohol per day.
8. Quit Smoking
If you can quit smoking that can improve your HDL cholesterol level.
Your blood circulation and lung function can be improved within the three months of quitting smoke and if you successfully quitted smoke for a year, your risk of heart disease will be half that of a smoker.
9. Include soy in your diet
Soybeans are plant-based compounds that are similar to estrogen.
Soybeans are rich in protein and have powerful cholesterol-lowering effects. It can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Soybeans and Soy milk are more effective in lowering cholesterol levels as the less processed form of soy. It can help increase HDL cholesterol.
10. Drink Green tea
Green teas are rich in antioxidants which can be helpful to reduce LDL cholesterol levels from oxidizing and forming plaques in arteries.
Taking one cup of green tea per day reduces almost 20 percent of the risk of a heart attack.
You can add some supplements to your diet to lower your cholesterol level. You should consult with the doctor before adding to your diet. Supplements include Niacin, Psyllium husk, L-carnitine.
Along with dietary changes, you should try some physical activities at least for 30 minutes. If lifestyle changes are not enough to lower cholesterol levels then only take supplements as per doctors’ advice.