How to Lower High Cholesterol Levels

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol can be defined as follows:

- Cholesterol is a fat-like and waxy substance, produced by the liver.
- It has its place and function in the human body and system and too much of it puts your health at risk.
- Cholesterol forms part of every cell within the body.
- When the cholesterol level is appropriate, all is well
- It plays a life-giving role in many functions of the body.
- When cholesterol is at a good level, you are healthy and in top shape
- It works to build and repair cells
- It produces hormones such as estrogen and testosterone
- Produces bile acids which are proven to aid in the digestion of fat
- With too much cholesterol in the body, build up occurs
- Damage to and clogging of your arteries result.

What are the causes of High Cholesterol

A diet high in saturated foods (including dairy, meat and eggs) heightens and elevates your cholesterol levels in the body. To prevent a high cholesterol it is essential that a healthy diet comprising fruits, vegetables and grains will help you maintain optimal health as these foods typically have 0% cholesterol.

Therefore, it is possible not to fall into the trap of high levels of cholesterol and thus an individual have a role to play, by choosing the right kind of foods to consume.

By opting for a healthier diet and lifestyle you have already made a giant leap in taking control of not only your cholesterol, but your heart health, life and future! If you do eat right and better, you are in a better position to get your health back and lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Simply lowering your cholesterol by 1% can make a world of difference and is worth the effort. Understanding more about cholesterol, the different types and manifestations of it as well as the effects and risks it carries, is of great importance.

There are two main types of lipoproteins:

• LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is the harmful type of cholesterol
• HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is a protective type of cholesterol

Having too much harmful cholesterol in your blood can increase your risk of getting cardiovascular disease. The risk is particularly high if you have a high level of LDL cholesterol and a low-level of HDL cholesterol.
Thus a great way to maintain a good cholesterol levels is through a healthy nutrition and diet and this is explained below:

Nutrition, Diet and Food choices

Here is a list of things you can start changing right away, if you have not been doing it;

• start by choosing healthier and preferable low-fat foods
• Buying unsaturated fats and oils as the best alternative.
• Cooking-sprays (low-fat) to replace oils and cut fat from our diet MORE!
• Kitchen habits and food preparation techniques that do not require oil (stir-fry, steam and boil)
• No deep-frying or foods baked/prepared in heavy oils

Other tips include:

Eating foods/fruits high in fibre such as whole-meal foods is essential to maintain a good cholesterol levels. Foods and fruits high in fibre include:

• Dried peas and beans
• Fruits (especially oranges and pears)
• Oats, rye, and barley
• Vegetables (especially Brussels sprouts and carrots)

Other equally good sources of foods and fruits are:

- Alfalfa sprouts
- Anise
- Apples
- Apricots
- Artichoke
- Arugula
- Asparagus
- Avocado
- Bananas
- Bean sprouts
- Beans
- Beets

In addition, always ensure that you eat oily fish regularly such as salmon and mackerel. Oily fish provides the richest source of a particular type of polyunsaturated fat known as omega 3. Omega 3 from oily fish can help to lower blood triglyceride levels and helps prevent the blood from clotting, and can also help to regulate heart rhythm.

As has been stated earlier, foods that are high in soluble fibre such as oats, beans, pulses, lentils, nuts, fruits and vegetables, can really help lower cholesterol.

Finally, ensure you are active as an active lifestyle can help to lower cholesterol levels. Activities can range from walking and cycling to more rigorous exercise such as running and dancing. Doing 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week can improve your cholesterol levels.

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Article Source: Esther_B_Odejimi

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