Unhealthy lifestyle choices are the usual cause of high cholesterol. Moreover, factors including excessive drinking, smoking, aging, obesity and other health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases can add to the risk of developing high cholesterol.
What is Cholesterol?
The cholesterol found in your body is essential to build and maintain the cell membranes; it is also responsible for converting sunshine into vitamin D, as well as the performance of other necessary functions.
However, a higher level of cholesterol in your body is not healthy and exposes yourself to severe or sometimes fatal health problems. The accumulation of cholesterol along the artery walls increases risks for the development of heart ailments.
Lipoprotein profile is a test used to get cholesterol levels. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is good because it is helpful in carrying cholesterol to your liver, where it is broken down and undergoes reprocessing.
On the other hand, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is bad for your body. LDL has the tendency in building up along the inner walls of your arteries, which, over time, can cause a narrowing of blood vessels.
Risk of Heart Attack
Reports from the American Heart Association show that an individual with lower low-density lipoprotein has a lesser risk of stroke and heart attack. Accordingly, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is useful in determining the exposure of people to such risks.
Lowering cholesterol through natural ways, such as a diet that is rich in fiber and nutrients can keep the heart healthy and free from ailments. Make a good habit of eating food that helps regulate cholesterol level.
Foods effective to lower cholesterol:
- Oats – Oats are known to be rich in fiber-containing beta-glucan, a fiber of soluble variety capable of binding cholesterol that circulates in the blood. Such binding capability can facilitate cholesterol excretion from the body.
- Garlic – Garlic is rich in sulfur-containing antioxidants, which are essential to regulate cholesterol levels. Fresh garlic, when consumed regularly, does not only reduce LDL cholesterol levels, but it also helps to enhance the levels of good cholesterol.
- Onions – The red onions we commonly use in cooking are beneficial to deal with high level of cholesterol. Studies show that red onions are effective in reducing bad cholesterol and help in elevating good cholesterol levels simultaneously.
- Turmeric – Turmeric ginger has outstanding healing properties for wounds and as an expectorant as well. Additionally, it has been found that turmeric is effective in protecting the heart through its capabilities to lower cholesterol.
- Brinjal – Brinjal is an herb that grows in southeastern Asia rich, containing chlorogenic acid, which is an effective antioxidant. This makes brinjal capable of counteracting increases of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
- Coriander Seed – According to research, coriander seed help to lower levels of the total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides. It also contains hypoglycemic properties useful in managing diabetes.
- Corn Oil and Soybean Oil – Corn oil and soybean oil have plant sterols (phytosterols) that are good in preventing the body from absorbing cholesterol, which are normally found in foods we usually eat. Moreover, the oils are capable of enhancing the effect of statin drugs that are commonly prescribed in lowering cholesterol.
- Green Tea – Since green tea does not undergo excessive processing, it retains good concentrations of essential substances. One substance, epigallocatechin gallate, is a powerful antioxidant effective against a high level of bad cholesterol.
- Brown Rice – Brown rice has undergone an incomplete process where the only thing removed during milling is the outermost husk. In effect, brown rice retains the lower layer of bran that is rich fibers, vitamins, and minerals.
Doing regular physical activity not only lowers LDL cholesterol and the triglycerides but also increases high-density lipoprotein cholesterol simultaneously. Great benefits are obtained from a 60-minute medium-intensity workout every week and greater results are experienced by people that are more active.
Limit Intake of Saturated Fat
The cholesterol level can be negatively affected through consumption of foods with saturated fats. Additionally, foods with high saturated fats are high in cholesterol as well. Foods such as pork, beef, lamb and dairy products have saturated fats. It is recommended to limit the consumption of these foods in order to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.
Accordingly, other than fiber, which helps in lowering cholesterol levels, there are other natural supplements available that lower cholesterol as well including artichoke leaf, niacin, beta-sitosterol, mangosteen, and red rice yeast.