What is cholesterol?
Your body needs some cholesterol to function well. But if you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can stick to the walls of your arteries, narrowing them or even blocking them. This puts you at risk for coronary artery disease and other heart disease.
Cholesterol travels through the blood in proteins called lipoproteins. One type, low-density cholesterol, or LDL, is sometimes called “bad” cholesterol. A high ldl level leads to a buildup of plaque in the arteries. High-density cholesterol, or HDL in English, is sometimes called “good” cholesterol. It carries cholesterol from other parts of the body back to the liver, where it is removed.
There are some steps you can take to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL). By keeping your cholesterol levels within normal values, you can reduce your risk of heart disease.
What are the treatments for high cholesterol?
High cholesterol treatments are heart-healthy lifestyle changes and medications. Lifestyle changes include a healthy diet, weight management, and regular physical activity.
How can I lower cholesterol with diet?
Lifestyle changes that are heart-healthy include a cholesterol-lowering diet. The DASH eating plan is an example. Another is the diet of therapeutic lifestyle changes. Here are the recommendations:
Choose healthier fats: You should limit both total fat and saturated fat. No more than 25 to 35 percent of your daily calories should come from dietary fats, and less than seven percent of your daily calories should come from saturated fats. Depending on the amount of calories you consume per day, here are the maximum amounts of fat you should eat:
Saturated fat is a harmful fat because it raises your bad cholesterol (LDL) level more than anything else in your diet. It is found in some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and processed and fried foods.
Trans fat is another harmful fat. It can raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol (HDL). Trans fat is found mainly in foods made with fats and hydrogenated oils, such as bar margarine, crackers and chips.
Instead of these harmful fats, try healthier fats, such as lean meats, nuts, and unsaturated oils like canola, olive and safflower oils.
Limit foods with cholesterol. If you are trying to lower your cholesterol, you should consume less than 200 mg a day. Cholesterol is found in animal foods such as liver and other viscera, egg yolks, shrimp and whole milk dairy products.
Eat a lot of soluble fiber. Foods rich in soluble fiber help prevent the digestive tract from absorbing cholesterol. These foods include
Whole grain cereals such as oats and oat bran
Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, pears and plums
Legumes such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, caret beans and beans
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can increase important cholesterol-lowering substances in your diet. These substances, called stanoles or plant sterols, function as soluble fiber.
Eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids won’t lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) level, but they can help raise your good cholesterol (HDL) level. These fats can also protect your heart from blood clots and inflammation and reduce your risk of heart attack. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna (canned or fresh) and mackerel. Try to eat these fish twice a week.
Limit salt. You should try to limit the amount of sodium (salt) you consume to no more than 2,300 milligrams (about one teaspoon of salt) per day. This includes all the salt you consume, whether it has been added in the kitchen or at the table, or is already present in food products. Limiting salt won’t lower cholesterol, but it can lower your risk of heart disease by helping lower blood pressure. You can reduce salt by choosing low-salt, “no added salt” foods, as well as preferring seasonings on the table or when cooking over salt.
Limit alcohol. Alcohol adds extra calories, which can lead to weight gain. Being overweight can raise your bad cholesterol level and lower your level of good cholesterol. Too much alcohol can also increase your risk of heart disease, because it can raise your blood pressure and triglyceride level. A drink is a glass of wine, beer or a small amount of strong liquor, and the recommendation is:
No more than two alcoholic beverages a day for men
No more than one alcoholic beverage a day for women
Foods that lower cholesterol fast
The 32 foods that lower cholesterol quickly
If you eat these foods – and avoid others – and follow a few simple steps, you’ll see your bad cholesterol lower and the good rise quickly and without even realizing it.
Iberian ham, “olive oil”
We have some good news. Want to lower your cholesterol quickly? Then sign up for the Iberian ham. And it has been said of him that it is like olive oil, but to take to bite. And no, it doesn’t contain cholesterol. So we can’t think of a better way to start with good cholesterol foods than with Iberian ham.
Soy lecithin, lower the bad one and raise the good
It lowers cholesterol thanks to its phospholipids, which act on fat metabolism. Due to industrial handling, food has become impoverished in phospholipids and gained saturated fats. Lecithin corrects this imbalance. It is marketed in the form of yellow granules, which can be added to any dish, at a rate of 2 to 4 tablespoons daily, depending on how high the cholesterol is. It has no side effects.
Have you noticed how aubergine absorbs oil when cooking it? Well, the same thing he does with cholesterol. To act as a “sponge” you must take it cooked and whole, with its skin and seeds. In addition, eggplant contains chlorogenic acid, a substance that has a marked antioxidant effect, so it helps prevent LDL cholesterol from rusting.
Tomato, better in sofrito
Researchers at Kyoto University have found that it helps curb dyslipemia, which is increased bad cholesterol or lowered good cholesterol. In addition, it is rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that prevents cholesterol from rusting. For the tomato to release more lycopene it must be heated, so if you want it to bring you all its benefits, there is nothing like taking it roasted or putting it in the sofrito.
Olive oil, health drops
Oleic acid in extra virgin olive oil is a great help in regulating the level of cholesterol in the blood, as it contributes to lowering “bad” cholesterol and increasing “good”, according to the Predimed study on Prevention with the Mediterranean Diet. In addition, triglycerides also do not increase.
Avocado, high in good fat
Yes, it’s true, avocado is a fat fruit, but it’s a fat that helps you raise HDL cholesterol levels, according to the American Heart Association. If you don’t know how to prepare it, discover these recipes with avocado.
Nuts and other nuts
Nuts contain a type of omega 3, alphalinolenic acid, which not only increases HDL cholesterol and reduces LDL, but promotes the elasticity of blood vessels, prevents clots and lowers high blood pressure. You can take 3 or 4 a day. And while nuts are the nuts that contain the most omega 3s, the others are also interesting taken raw and unsused.
Legume, your great ally
A study by the University of Toronto (Canada) saw that taking 120 g a day from a mixture of beans and lentils did not increase weight and also raised the level of “good” cholesterol.
Here are more habits and tips for raising good cholesterol.
Better grape than wine
The polyphenol content of the wine can raise the level of good cholesterol or HDL, but it is better to consume these polyphenols directly from the grape, and avoid drinking alcohol…
Wine, a glass or better none
Some studies claim that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, especially red wine, improves “good” cholesterol levels. But what happens when alcohol consumption is excessive? It saturates liver enzymes, resulting in increased fat concentration in the liver and an increase in bad cholesterol or LDL. Therefore, it would be advisable to eat grapes directly and if you want to drink alcohol, do not consume more than one glass of wine a day.