5 foods that help lower cholesterol

cholesterol-lowering recipe avocado salad

Taking food to lower cholesterol is essential to prevent cardiovascular problems such as heart attack or stroke.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) about 147 million people suffer from high cholesterol, yet not being controlled by those who suffer, with an annual cause of 17 million deaths.

What is cholesterol?

In response, cholesterol is a natural fatty substance that occurs in all cells of the human body for normal functioning of the body. Most cholesterol is produced in the liver, but you can also get some in food.

Its functions are:

– Intervening in the formation of bile acids needed for digestion of fats.
– Protect skin from chemicals and avoid dehydration.
– Form from it sexual hormones or thyroid.

Cholesterol produced in the liver or pancreas, is driven through the blood to the organs that need it by particles called lipoproteins. These can be classified into:

Low-density Lipoproteins (LDL)

They are responsible for transporting the new cholesterol formed in the liver to body cells. This interaction leads to the creation of bad cholesterol since the particle is deposited on the wall of the arteries and form atherosclerotic plaques.

High-density lipoproteins (HDL)

They collect cholesterol discarded by the cells and back to the liver for storage or excretion out through the bile. Therefore, it is a positive particle as it destroys excess cholesterol. It is commonly known as good cholesterol.

The accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries is a damage to the vascular wall, resulting in arteriosclerosis. The decrease of the arteries, which become stiff and thick, hinders the passage of blood and oxygen to the cells of the body.

If the blood levels are elevated, the risk factor in high cholesterol rises. This is associated with coronary, sex, diet and body endogenous synthesis problems.

In severe cases, the person may suffer a heart attack or stroke. To avoid these cases, the ideal is to maintain normal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

Total cholesterol

Normal: less than 200 mg/dL.
Normal-high: between 200 and 240 mg/dL. Hypercholesterolemia is considered to higher levels of total cholesterol 200 mg / dl.
High: above 240 mg/dL.

LDL (bad cholesterol)

Normal: less than 100 mg/dL.
Normal-high: 100 to 160 mg/dL.
High: above 160 mg/dL.

HDL cholesterol

Normal: above 35 mg/dL in men and 40 mg/dL in women

Triglycerides

Normal: less than 150 mg/dL.
Normal-high: between 100 and 500 mg/dL. Hypertriglyceridemia is considered to triglycerides levels above 150-200 mg/dL
High: above 500 mg/dL.

For more details, visit http://www.cholesterolmenu.com/cholesterol-levels-chart/.

Getting adequate levels is easy if you follow healthy eating habits like not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercise frequently and avoid saturated fats.

If in your case your bad cholesterol levels are high, try adding to your diet this series of food.

Foods that your body will certainly appreciate

1. Olive oil

The olive oil is rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid very healthy for the heart because it reduces LDL cholesterol and increases HDL.

Olive oil is characterized by being a source of vitamins and antioxidants. In addition, it does not contain trans fatty acids, which are harmful to cholesterol.

It should be consumed in moderation, recommended as combined with salads or to season chicken, fish or vegetables.

2. Avocado

Avocados are composed of a number of healthy monounsaturated fats (omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9). These types of fat are very healthy for the heart as they help to raise HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL. Despite being high calorie, their beneficial vegetable fat reduces cholesterol absorption.

In turn, avocado contains fiber and antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin B12, magnesium, etc.) that help reduce the absorption of fats from the foods we eat and manage to avoid oxidation.

When taken in moderation, the avocado will help prevent cardiovascular disease and improve cholesterol.

3. Garlic

Garlic has many properties such as prevention of blood clots or reduce blood pressure, but also helps stop plaque that clogs the arteries in its early stages, preventing cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls.

It is recommended to include garlic in the diet, not only for its benefits to the heart but for its therapeutic properties as tonic, diuretic, antiseptic and antibacterial.

4. Oats and barley

These two foods are rich in beta-glucan , a polysaccharide in the form of soluble fiber that helps stimulate the defense cells of the body that are responsible for removing foreign objects. It has the ability to minimize cholesterol levels within a few weeks.

According to the researchers, it is advisable to take about 3 grams of beta-glucan per day.

In a study published in 2011 in the journal Nutrition Reviews, foods like oats were able to reduce up to 5% levels of total cholesterol and 7% LDL cholesterol levels.

5. Fruit and vegetables

Low in saturated fats and rich in soluble fiber, fruits and vegetables are among the foods that help keep cholesterol low. Do not deprive yourself of taking apples, strawberries, grapes, lettuce, cabbage, oranges, blueberries, broccoli, and sweet potato tubers. Combined with legumes such as peas or lentils can help a lot to your intestinal transit and reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.

Check out this for more foods and herbs for lowering cholesterol naturally

Foods to avoid if you have high cholesterol

Listed foods that will help you improve your cholesterol, we move on to warn you about those that should be avoided so that the fight is a success.

Fatty meats: sausages and canned products in oil are dangerous if you have high cholesterol levels.
High-fat dairy products: such as ice cream, cream, cheese or full-fat yogurt should be limited in the diet of a person with high cholesterol.
Drinks: it is advisable to avoid alcohol and limit to a daily glass of wine or beer.
Fats: lard, bacon.
Sauces: condiments like mayonnaise must be eradicated from the cupboard.

6 Healthy Habits To Reduce Cholesterol

heart-healthy habits to lower cholesterol

If you are among the people who have high cholesterol, you should use a series of measures to lower it and reduce the chances of developing heart disease. High levels of cholesterol can produce an accumulation of fatty deposits in blood vessels, these fat deposits cause constriction of blood flow that is transported through the arteries.

An important aspect to lower cholesterol is to make healthy changes in lifestyle. In addition to using prescription drugs, you can also practice some habits that are of great benefit to lower cholesterol. Although there are different effective methods in lowering cholesterol and heart problems, it is essential that you follow a healthy diet and a series of exercise routines so you can get cholesterol levels are within a normal range.

Healthy habits that help lower cholesterol

1. Reduce the amount of cholesterol in your diet. Begins to limit animal protein such as red meat, dairy products, and eggs, and try to increase lean proteins as chicken and fish. You can also include in your meals as vegetable protein replacement from animal sources, you can eat beans and legumes, as they are of great help to reduce cholesterol.

2. Increase the consumption of soluble fiber. Foods such as onions, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, oats, soybeans, and barley, are a perfect source of soluble fiber. You can consume any of them at each meal, for example at breakfast you could eat some oatmeal with some fresh fruit; in a sweet potato lunch and dinner a cup of beans.

3. Implement a series of workouts. If you perform this activity with a healthy diet you will achieve lower high cholesterol levels. It is important that before you start doing some exercises, so check with your doctor so he can recommend a routine that is appropriate for you.

4. Avoid smoking as it causes the levels of good cholesterol decrease and increases the level of bad cholesterol. If you have the habit of smoking and eliminate your intake, you’ll prevent fat from building up in the arteries and reduce cholesterol.

5. Incorporates consumption of artichoke leaf extract in your diet. Some studies have shown that people who take this type of artichoke – based supplement for a period of 6 weeks have reduced 23% of the levels of low – density lipoprotein, ie bad cholesterol.

6. Try to maintain a healthy liver to metabolize correctly cholesterol. There are natural supplements and herbs that help maintain the proper functioning of the liver and help keep cholesterol levels healthy. You can also use stimulants such as water with lemon and vegetables such as bitter leaf, so you can contribute to the optimal functioning of the liver.

These 6 healthy habits can help you reduce your blood cholesterol levels, prevent coronary heart disease and maintain better health. You can go incorporating a habit a week so you can more easily adapt and start living healthily.