A cholesterol-lowering diet is ideal for a large number of people but it is largely recommended for those who are on the brink of contracting heart disease or who have high cholesterols and have been warned by their doctors. A number of anti-biotics, as well as drugs, are available that hold the ability to lower cholesterol numbers. However, naturally, it is always recommended that one should embark upon a cholesterol-lowering diet instead of immediately turning to medicines.
Before going ahead with tips to lower cholesterol, one must understand what cholesterol really is:
Cholesterol is a thick substance that is present in hemoglobin as well as every cell of the human body. While it is essential for the proper functioning of the human body as it produces a number of hormones that assist the body in the digestion process, especially of fat, too much cholesterol is very dangerous for the body. It can lead to artery blockages along with heart attacks and strokes.
While Low-Density Lipoprotein (L.D.L) is known as “bad” cholesterol, High-Density Lipoprotein (H.D.L) is known as “good” cholesterol. While a high concentration of L.D.L in the bloodstream can lead to heart problems, H.D.L provides the opposite function, that is, it reduces the risk of contracting heart problems.
It is important for those looking for a cholesterol-lowering diet to know that cholesterol is contracted from animals. That is, if one consumes an excess of meat, milk, eggs, and cheese, the cholesterol content in your blood will probably be high.
Contrary to popular belief, food is not the main source of cholesterol. The body has the ability to create over 70% of the cholesterol that is present in the hemoglobin of the human body. Therefore, a cholesterol-lowering diet may not always work.
The quality of the fat that you consume also contributes to cholesterol levels. Harvard School of Public Health says that this is possible even if the food product does not contain it. For example, olive oil and nuts contain a fat called monosaturated fat which has the ability to lower the levels of LDL and increase the levels of HDL. The same holds true for corn and fish which contain polyunsaturated fat.
Saturated fat is one that at room temperature is solid. However, polyunsaturated fat is in liquid form at the same temperature. As a majority of high-fat products are refrigerated, it is not always possible to see their condition at room temperature. Reading the label is a must in such cases.
Cholesterol-lowering diet plan
The Mediterranean diet is one that is considered to be an excellent cholesterol-lowering diet plan. While it encourages the consumption of olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fish, it limits the consumption of red meat. This is undoubtedly the ideal consumption for one who is looking for a cholesterol-lowering diet plan.
Low-fat diets have also proven to lower cholesterol levels. Dean Ornish Diets along with the Pritikin Diets are such cholesterol-lowering diets that not only reduce high levels of cholesterol but also result in the reduction of plaque and heart problems.
Those who wish to lower their cholesterol must keep in mind that they should not consume more than 300 milligrams of those products that are high in cholesterol on a daily basis. Trans fat must totally be removed from the diet and saturated fat must only be consumed at par with 10% of the daily calories that have been consumed.
Other tips include:
- Cholesterol-lowering diet plans must include a large number of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Eating those food products that rich in nutrients is also an important part of the cholesterol-lowering diet plan.
- Eating fish at least two times a week is recommended for those who wish to embark upon a cholesterol-lowering diet.
- Excess salt must be eliminated from the diet of the individual who wishes to lower cholesterol levels and start a cholesterol-lowering diet plan.
- Dairy products that are low in fat must be chosen by those who wish to follow a cholesterol-lowering diet.
- Refined carbohydrates must be avoided and whole grains must be embraced. This is essential for those who want to initiate a cholesterol-lowering diet.
- Reading the labels attached to food products is essential as one must always know what one is consuming. This becomes all the most necessary when one is looking for a cholesterol-lowering diet