Cholesterol is a type of lipid. It is a waxy, fat-like substance that your liver produces naturally. It is vital for the formation of cell membranes, certain hormones, and vitamin D. If your blood contains too much LDL cholesterol (cholesterol carried by low-density lipoprotein), it is known as high cholesterol. In most cases, high cholesterol typically causes no symptoms. Many people do not even realize they have high cholesterol until they develop serious complications such as heart attack, stroke and angina.
To lower your risk of complications from high cholesterol, you can practice healthy lifestyle habits. And a healthy diet can play an important role in lowering the cholesterol. Here are some foods that can help to lower high cholesterol and protect the heart.
1, Fruits and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are high in fibre, some of which can help to lower your cholesterol. It helps block some cholesterol from being absorbed from the intestines into the blood stream. Fruits and vegetables can also help protect against heart disease and stroke. They contain little or no fat and are low in calories too so they can help you to stay a healthy weight. And if you eat more fruit and veg that you will eat less of the other more fatty foods.
Nuts are very high in monounsaturated fats. Some are also rich in the plant variety of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat associated with heart health. Nuts provide phytosterols. These plant compounds are structurally similar to cholesterol and help lower cholesterol by blocking its absorption in your intestines. Calcium, magnesium and potassium, also found in nuts, may reduce blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease.
Oats are grains which are rich in a type of fibre called beta glucan – which can help you to lower your cholesterol. When you eat beta glucan, it forms a gel which binds to cholesterol and bile (which is made from cholesterol) in the intestines. This helps limit the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed from the gut into your blood. Your liver has to take more cholesterol out of your blood to make more bile, which also lowers your blood cholesterol.
4, Fatty Fish
Eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.
5, Soya Beans
Soya beans are very good for a healthy diet. They are full of protein, vitamins and minerals that are low in saturated fat. They play a role in helping to keep your cholesterol levels down too.
In a word, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco products may help you achieve and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. It could also help lower your risk of complications from high cholesterol.Posted on May 5, 2023