Foods And Diet To Lower Cholesterol
First, get this right; there is a good type of cholesterol and a bad one. This post will focus on cutting down the wrong type for the betterment of your cardiac system. In addition, this review will provide an ultimate guide and diet to lower cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a sticky substance produced by the liver. It usually forms when one consumes animal products. Therefore, your liver will produce a lot less cholesterol when you consume elevated levels of the same from food.
Therefore, since the body neutralizes its level by toning down on its production, the underlying danger it bears when it concentrates on the body is alleviated. When you eat increased levels of saturated fat, it can raise cholesterol levels when combined with glucose. Your liver produces cholesterol because it is essential for you.
Some of the notable uses of cholesterol include aiding in cell membranes and building blocks in hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and other adrenal hormones. Also, it is essential in the production of vitamin D in the body. This secretion is vital for the normal functioning of your body structures and organs.
What Causes Bad Cholesterol?
You should note that, just like sugar, cholesterol is essential only when its levels are at an optimum range. Above these levels, you have exposed some of the most dangerous diseases people refer to as lifestyle complications. Heightened cholesterol levels may be oxidized and end up embedded on the walls of the blood vessels, especially the arteries.
When this happens, interfered blood flow results in chest pains. If the coronary arteries are affected, heart attack resulting from a blood vessel rupture from increased blood pressure due to narrower lumens than usual. Such a breach may cause a clot that would block the passage of blood to essential body parts. If one of these parts is the brain or part of it, you are likely to get a stroke.
Just like that, what started as a delicious meal lands you in a hospital unable to control your body or even worse, fighting for your life. The most natural treatment and prevention plan to this is your diet. To prevent this from occurring to you or your family, you need to edit some parts of your meals and introduce some tasty, healthy and revitalizing dishes which are heart-friendly.
All diet plans work wonders when tied together with exercises. Therefore, as you consider eating healthy and avoiding drug consumption, also put activities on the menu. Another reminder, Statin may reduce cholesterol, but it will not trim the problem from its shin. So quit stuffing pills in your innocent body and start living right.
Diet To Lower Cholesterol – Best Menu Plans
The first pin on your fridge should probably be having a diet plan that focuses on reducing cholesterol in the blood. So, the primary goal is to cut on cholesterol; what foods should one eat?
Diet To Lower Cholesterol – Consuming Foods Rich With Fiber
Here, you want to consume foods rich in fiber. Your target should be soluble fiber. The net effect of this is that you will be moving towards gelling the present cholesterol in the digestive system. This way, you would be keeping it, prisoner, in the gut so that it does not get reabsorbed to the bloodstream.
You can find Soluble fiber in beans, and this consists of Lima, pinto, lentils, peas, black, red, kidney beans, etc. On the list, we have yams, oats, barley, berries, citrus, flax, apples, and Brussels sprouts.
Doctors say that eating a cup of beans each day reduces the level of cholesterol by at least 10% in six weeks. Further studies reveal that men have higher tendencies of losing harmful cholesterol. Studies show that beans help to manage one’s cravings.
Understanding Foods Process Mechanics
Naturally, human bodies lack a defined system in terms of enzymes that can break down soluble fibers in the gut for absorption. Therefore, as you consume this food component, it stays in the gut longer traveling through the alimentary canal, absorbing water. This way, it makes you feel that you are full for longer, reducing the occurrence of those hunger pangs that may drive you to snack on junks.
Moreover, as the food moves along the gut, it collects water, absorbs bile, and other leftovers from absorption, forming a thick paste that ends up in your stool. The liver makes bile from cholesterol. If it’s gone, the liver has to produce another batch anew. The body has to take bile from the reserves. This means that it has to make do with the one in storage, hence reducing the net amount of cholesterol in the body.
If you are wondering what bile does; it is produced in the gall bladder in the liver and then secreted in the duodenum to break down fats into fatty acids and glycerol – forms that can be stored or further oxidized to produce energy. Since this procedure is critical for your body, the liver will have to ensure that bile is available.
Foods That Help Lower Cholesterol Levels
If you don’t find the foods listed above, you can make do with the following: grapefruits, pineapples, carrots, parsnips, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, nectarines, apricots, pears, grapes, figs. Also consider asparagus, squash, turnips, string beans, prunes, passion fruits, cantaloupe, bananas, cherries, etc. In other terms, fruits, whole grains, and vegetables are essential for diet to lower cholesterol.
Now you must be asking yourself how much soluble fibers do you need in a day. Well, you don’t need to worry about that. Just ensure that half of your plate per meal consists of fruits and vegetables. The rest leave to your body to sort out your cholesterol issue.
Research proves that vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants that prevent bad cholesterol from oxidizing to form plaques in the blood vessels. Figures quote 17%, and the value that vegetables and fruits lower your risk of getting heart complications brought about by cholesterol.
Diet To Lower Cholesterol – Reduce Consumption Of Cholesterol-Rich Foods
It is upon you to choose the direction you want to go. Logically, you cannot want to reduce something lest you cut its source first. Therefore, if you’re going to lower cholesterol levels in the body by a considerable amount, you should start doing away with those meals that facilitate them in the first place.
Eat the following categories foods only if you have to and as fewer as none. No content is optimal for consumption.
– Organ meats
– Egg yolks
– Foods with saturated fats such as butter, fatty meats, and dairy foods, tropical oils e.g., coconut oil, creams, whole milk, low-fat milk, etc.
– Processed meat such as bologna, mincemeat, and hot dogs.
– Vegetable oils that have undergone partial hydrogenation.
Watch out for these types of foods as they are bad news to your fight against cholesterol. Do not drop your guard while shopping. You should note that businesses such as restaurants tend to use cheaper options for trans fats when preparing meals for consumption.
Trans Fats – The Hidden Enemy
Usually, trans fats occur naturally in red meat and dairy products. In other words, those are saturated fats. You are likely to get these in restaurants and other eateries anywhere else. However, since vegetable oils are cheaper, firms apply hydrogen partially to these oils to form fats, which are, in turn, used in place of natural trans fats.
Vegetable oils are unsaturated fats – safe for consumption. Hydrogen is applied to harden them and to convert them into a cheap alternative for saturated fats. Eating these artificial trans fats has proved to increase LDL cholesterol, which is the bad type. Therefore, you will be 23% more likely to develop heart-related complications if you used this product.
In countries like the United States, it is not legal to use this item in food preparation. However, while shopping, strictly steers away “partially hydrogenated” products. You would instead consume natural trans fats than artificial ones. The health risk involved is significant but not as substantial as processed ones.
Diet To Lower Cholesterol – Choose Your Protein Wisely
You want to ensure that your diet contains proteins. At the same time, proteins occur differently. Some produced from plants and some from animals. In a bid to fight cholesterol levels, you should consider choosing plant proteins over animal proteins, and especially red meat.
Eating chicken is much better than feasting on prime ribs. Lean meats such as poultry and fish are healthier and beneficial to your body more than red meats.
Plant proteins such as beans and tofu are healthy as they give your body the much-needed protein nourishment while at the same time acting as fibers. They are rich in soluble fiber. They will fight off cholesterol for you while at the same time supplying the required nutrients to the body.
Fish is another excellent option for your protein supply. Choose those options that contain omega-3 fatty acids. You can find this component in trout, salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines. Canned fish also has its health benefits. However, it’s better to go for unsalted or low sodium options.
Omega-3 does not fight cholesterol in the body. However, it maintains healthy body functioning in terms of blood flow, reducing blood clotting, lowering the levels of triglyceride in the body, reducing inflammation, and works towards stabilizing heart rhythm. From this package, you will see that fish serves your body better than red meat. Even with high cholesterol levels, omega-3 can buy you some time to fight it without worrying about rupturing your arteries while working out.
Minimize Industrialized Salt, Food, And Sugar Consumption.
You may not increase cholesterol directly by consuming these products, but it is unhealthy. Besides, in a study conducted over 14 years in the United States, it was revealed that those people who sourced 25% of their total calorie intake from drinks that were processed using high fructose corn syrup saw a 17% surge in their cholesterol levels.
You may add that it is not clear in the cholesterol levels resulted from fructose corn syrup but wait until you hear this; fructose is responsible for the increase in small, densely oxidized “bad” cholesterol particles. These particles have a strong correlation of contributing to heart-related complications.
Thinking that sugars are the only nightmares you have to deal with, wait until your doctor instructs you to stop using salt in your meals. Controlling the contents of these elements helps you maintain a stable blood sugar level, which reduces the chances of experiencing high blood pressure.
Processed foods such as potato chips are the main culprits with high salt content, and some come with high sugar levels, such as cakes. If you have been reading lots of weight-loss diets, then you must have come across a point where you are supposed to stay away from sugary foods. Those foods contain blood glucose, which sets to motion other processes that, in the end, you may have developed inflammation, diabetes type II, and have increased triglyceride fats. Ultimately, you will have added a lot of weight and on the verge of being obese.
Herbs and spices are fond of nutritious contents such as natural vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Your goal here is to induce these ingredients into the diet without stretching your budget.
Research shows that ginger, garlic, and turmeric are your to-go-to spices whenever you want a highly packed meal with minimal additives. Studies claim that if you consumed garlic regularly for about 12 weeks, you are likely to have cut your net cholesterol count by at least 9%
Most herbs contain antioxidants. This component prevents bad cholesterol from undergoing oxidation, which helps to reduce the prevalence of plaques in the blood arteries. Even in small quantities, the little samples you take daily are enough to contribute significantly towards your fight against cholesterol effects and continual buildup.
The following are examples of herbs and spices you can count on to win the fight for you; sage, eucalyptus, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, thyme, mint, oregano, marjoram, cilantro, dill, ginger, garlic, and turmeric. Those ingredients are an important part of a diet to lower cholesterol.
Eating A Mediterranean-Style Diet
This diet incorporates fruits, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, fish, olive oil, low dairy and meat products, and red wine usually consumed moderately.
In its very definition, this diet is quite a heart-friendly. You can see that it avoid all those foods that promote cholesterol buildup, and selectively allows those foods that do not cause the development of LDL type of cholesterol.
If you were to feast on this plan, you would be safely counting on your health radar to keep green for a very long time across the period of your lifespan.
Diet To Lower Cholesterol – Consume Healthy Beverages
You already stroke off sodas, juices, and other processed sugary drinks from your diet. In their place, you can use standard drinks such as tea and coffee. However, other teas can make good for you to a substantial level.
Green tea, made from Camellia sinensis leaves, by heating them to dry, then crushing them to brew tea is a perfect example. This herb has high levels of antioxidants, which help in preventing bad cholesterol from oxidizing.
Consumption of this remedy serves to reduce the risk of suffering from heart conditions by more than 20%. It is also the perfect protection against heart diseases.
Diet Plans For Lowering Cholesterol Levels
Before we get to highlight some of your daily options for the meals in a weak, it is essential to note that not all diet plans meant to reduce your cholesterol count. For instance, most of the diets you will meet online are revised to be effective to specific targets. For example, you will meet lots of options for weight loss, cutting belly fat, achieving lean shapes, improving cardiovascular health, etc.
You may have heard of the ketogenic diet. There are different versions of it; however, the most common of the three available tends to focus on high-fat-low-carb foods. Research on whether people following this diet can reduce their LDL levels is inconclusive as there are many conflicting study findings for different groups of people. The diet directly resulted in increasing good cholesterol and loss of weight.
Some researchers concluded that feeding on fewer carbs might trigger the liver’s production of less triglyceride, increasing the amount of HDL cholesterol levels. Also, this may have a ripple effect on some people, whereby it leads to an increase in LDL cholesterol. Therefore, this diet is not appropriate for all people. You should get a doctor’s opinion before embarking on a diet plan.
Back to our 1-day meal plan, provided here is a sample of what you can do. Therefore, you should not limit yourself to the provisions given below.
+ Soymilk with oatmeal and fresh berries
Oats and soy are perfect matchings as they are both cholesterol-lowering agents.
+ Coffee or tea would do great as well.
+ Broccoli and baby carrots with Greek yogurt.
Roasted Brussels sprouts and a salad of baby spinach
Trout fillets with mango salsa
Get the entire 5-day meal plan here.
Supplements For Diet To Lower Cholesterol
In addition to the commonly used Statin, there are other supplements that you can use either as alternatives or as complements to the diet you are using to cut on cholesterol levels. The following are some examples.
- Psyllium husk. This supplement contains high levels of soluble fiber, which, as earlier discussed, is effective in reducing the level of cholesterol in the blood. You can dissolve it in water to consume.
- Niacin. This tablet can reduce cholesterol by up to 19% in a year. However, it has some side effects. You should not use it unless it is under the doctor’s supervision or instruction.
- L-carnitine. It can be used majorly by people who have diabetes. The regimen reduces the level of LDL and lowers oxidation.
The Bottom Line
Cholesterol is an essential compound in the body, producing vital secretions such as bile, which helps in emulsifying fats, used in the production of hormones such as testosterone, and it is a component of cell membranes.
There are two types of cholesterol. One is the good type, which has been widely referred to in this article as HDL cholesterol. The other one is the bad type – LDL cholesterol.
The liver produces a suitable type. The other type is in foods that you eat daily.
Eating saturated fats, dairy products, red meats, processed foods, high sugar content, and artificial trans fats boost the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
When levels of bad cholesterol in the body build up, they tend to oxidize. After that, they clog the arteries during transportation and stick on the walls reducing the lumen, thus limiting the blood pathway.
This condition has far-reaching effects in heart-related complications, including arteriosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke, which may all arise from high blood pressure.
Plenty of fruits, nuts, vegetables, and plant proteins reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body by considerable levels. Additionally, green tea, black coffee, and other teas such as lavender can be perfect alternatives to sugary beverages.
Soluble fibers help in fighting high levels of cholesterol in the body (such as beans). Also, you may consider introducing other alternatives, such as drug regimens.
People use Statin to help with their cholesterol conditions most of the time. However, niacin, psyllium husk, and L-carnitine can also be used for the same purpose.
Ultimately, dietary alterations can help you to change your cholesterol situation significantly depending on which side you want to go to.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?