Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in every cell in the body. Consuming too much cholesterol in the diet increases cardiovascular problems. By avoiding the consumption of certain foods, the risks are reduced.
Cholesterol performs important functions, including:
– the production of steroid hormones, such as cortisol
– the production of sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone
– the creation of vitamin D
– the creation of bile salts to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
However, high blood cholesterol can lead to health problems, such as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. Changing your lifestyle and reducing the amount of cholesterol in your diet are important to lower high cholesterol or maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Here are the causes of high cholesterol, foods to avoid, and some low-cholesterol foods and breakfasts.
- 1 The 2 types of cholesterol
- 2 What are the causes of hypercholesterolemia?
- 3 Ways to lower cholesterol
- 4 Low cholesterol foods
- 5 Low Cholesterol Lunch Ideas
- 6 The benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet to lower your cholesterol
The 2 types of cholesterol
Cholesterol is attached to certain proteins during transport through the body. The combination of waxy substance and protein is called a lipoprotein. There are different types of lipoproteins depending on what is attached, but the two main types of cholesterol are:
Low density lipoprotein (LDL): This is known as the “bad” cholesterol. It transports cholesterol from the liver to different parts of the body. LDL cholesterol can build up in veins and arteries, narrowing them and restricting blood flow. A high LDL level is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL): This is called the “good” cholesterol. It carries cholesterol from the body to the liver for processing and elimination. It is believed that a high level of HDL has a cardioprotective effect.
What are the causes of hypercholesterolemia?
Genetic factors can lead to high blood cholesterol levels. This means that some people will produce excessive amounts of cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, which will lead to high blood cholesterol. This is called genetic or familial hypercholesterolemia.
Some lifestyle factors can influence cholesterol levels. For example, eating foods with high amounts of cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats have been shown to raise blood cholesterol levels.
They are found in the following foods:
Processed carbohydrates: These include white bread and white pasta.
Saturated fats: These include red meat, full-fat dairy products, and processed foods.
Trans fats: These include fried and highly processed foods, such as cookies, crackers, and doughnuts.
Other lifestyle factors can contribute to high cholesterol, including smoking and inactivity.
Certain medical conditions can also cause high cholesterol, including:
– polycystic ovary syndrome
– liver disease
– kidney disease
Ways to lower cholesterol
People who want to lower their blood cholesterol levels can make lifestyle changes to achieve this.
These strategies include:
– exercise regularly
– avoid tobacco, smoking is associated with unfavorable lipoprotein profiles
– reduce the consumption of foods high in cholesterol, saturated fat and trans fat
– maintain a moderate body mass index
– eat enough fiber, especially soluble fiber
Increasing the consumption of soluble fiber can lower cholesterol levels. This is because soluble fiber turns into a gel and attaches to cholesterol in the small intestine. This gel helps push it through the digestive system so that the body eliminates it through the stool.
Foods that contain high amounts of soluble fiber include:
– legumes, peas and beans
– the fruits
– oat flakes
– the vegetables
– most root vegetables
People with a family history of high cholesterol should consult their doctor to determine if they are at risk of inheriting this condition. If so, they can work out a strategy together to minimize their risk.
Low cholesterol foods
Foods lower in cholesterol are generally lower in fat. This means that plant-based foods and low-fat proteins are great low-cholesterol options. Processed foods can also sometimes contain cholesterol. This can be verified by reading the nutrition label and paying attention to the serving size.
Examples of low cholesterol food groups:
lenses: red, black and green
Whole grains, cereals and pasta
oats and oat flakes
whole grain breads
noodles, especially those made with whole grains or lentils
Fatty fish and meat
lean pieces of steak
Low Cholesterol Lunch Ideas
Reducing the consumption of foods that contain cholesterol can help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Here are some examples of low cholesterol breakfast ideas:
vegetable soup or broth-based lentil soup
salads with low fat or olive oil dressings
salmon with rice and broccoli
tofu or ground turkey chili
pasta salad with roasted vegetables and chicken
chicken or tofu vegetable stir-fry with brown rice
Mediterranean quinoa with feta, cucumbers, red onions and olives.
The benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet to lower your cholesterol
In a Mediterranean diet, here are the foods to eat in different amounts and frequencies:
– dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes every day
– fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, such as olive oil, whole grains, nuts with each main meal
– at least 2 servings of fish or seafood each week
– 2 servings of white meat and 2-4 servings of eggs each week
– by limiting red meat to a maximum of 2 portions per week and sweets to a maximum of 3 portions per week.
This type of diet protects against cardiovascular disease and lowers LDL cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol is a natural substance found in the body that performs many important functions. However, high blood cholesterol can be problematic because it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Many strategies can help lower or maintain a person’s cholesterol level, including diet. Consuming more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and decreasing the consumption of foods containing cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fats can help control cholesterol levels.
* At press health we strive to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice. [HighProtein-Foods.com]