Cholesterol in Our Body
Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance produced in our body by the liver. It is essential for various functions of our body, such as building cell walls, production of hormones, and production of vitamin D. Other than this, it also helps in creating bile salts, which helps our digestive system. Foods like eggs, meats, milk, cheese, and other dairy products are cholesterol-rich foods. However, excessive level of cholesterol in our blood may lead to several health hazards, such as coronary artery disease, which may lead to heart attack or cerebral vascular diseases, like stroke. Surveys conducted in North America reveal that most people die due to stroke or heart attack caused by high blood cholesterol levels.
- Good cholesterol, known as high density lipoproteins (HDL) helps in improving our health. Foods like vegetables, nuts, olive oil, etc., raise the HDL in our body.
- Bad cholesterol, known as low-density lipoproteins (LDL), provides excessive fat in the blood stream. Excessive consumption of fast foods, egg yolk, coconut milk, palm oil, etc., can lead to excess LDL.
How you can Reduce Cholesterol in your Diet
Cholesterol is produced as it is required for various functions in our body. However, if you consume excessive fatty as well as oily foods, then you may be at risk of a heart attack or stroke due to high cholesterol. Follow these healthy dietary tips and cut down on the big C.
- Opt for a low-cholesterol diet, such as fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, beans, and fish.
- Consume milk and yogurt that are low in fat content.
- Use olive oil or other heart-friendly oils instead of butter, while cooking.
- Eat a vegetarian diet.
- If you are a non-vegetarian, then consume lean meat without fats.
- Stick to boiled, steamed, baked, roasted foodstuffs, instead of fried foods.
- It is best to avoid yolks of eggs, fried chicken, or other fatty foods.
Follow a fiber-rich diet to stay healthy. Foods that contain high-soluble fiber help in keeping your colon healthy and remarkably reduce the bad cholesterol level in the blood.
Excessive weight or obesity may also increase your cholesterol level. So, try your level best to lose extra weight by exercising on a regular basis.
Exercising can help increase your HDL level, which lowers your chances of coronary artery disease. Some physical activities like walking, gardening, dancing, and swimming can also help to reduce LDL levels.
Avoid Smoking or Chewing Tobacco
If you are a chain smoker or have the habit of chewing tobacco, then it is time to avoid these habits. Tobacco is another factor that can lower the HDL level, give rise to blood clots, and also lead to heart disease.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol
If you drink alcohol on a regular basis, that too in excessive amount, then you may fall prey to health hazards, such as high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, etc. However, a little amount of alcohol is not harmful; still it is better not to start, if you don’t have the habit of drinking alcohol.
Besides these tips, you should make a balanced diet list that will include oats, cereals, and control eating junk foods such as hamburgers, pizzas, pies, hotdogs, etc. An occasional treat once in a while is fine. You should also check your cholesterol level on a regular basis. For better health and reducing your cholesterol levels, you may approach a doctor or a professional dietitian.