Hypercholesterolemia is the medical term used to designate high levels of cholesterol. At this time, it’s one of the most common afflictions. Unfortunately, the result of bad cholesterol can be fatal in time since it causes serious cardiac problems. That’s why it’s important to follow healthy diet to lower bad cholesterol.
For the most part, susceptibility to high cholesterol sometimes depends on genetic factors. Nevertheless, it’s a poor diet and lack of exercise that cause the most cases of hypercholesterolemia.
Taking into account the high levels of cholesterol that people have these days, we’d like to give you the measures that you can take with your diet to lower bad cholesterol.
The diet that we discuss will also enable you to practice it if you have a poor diet at present.
What You Should Know About Cholesterol
In general terms, cholesterol is a molecular fat that’s necessary for life. It’s found in the blood and cells of animals and people. Our body needs it to produce hormones, bile acids, vitamin D and other substances.
However, an increase in these levels in the blood can be dangerous to physical health. This is because it accumulates in the arteries, impeding the circulation of blood, which results in arterial hypertension.
Likewise, the accumulation of cholesterol can completely obstruct an artery, which can cause cellular death of tissues that don’t receive blood. In the same way, it can provoke blood clots.
These clots can get into very narrow arteries and clog them, which can lead to a stroke or myocardial infarction.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what cholesterol is and how to reduce bad cholesterol.
Types of Cholesterol
Since it’s a molecular fat, cholesterol can’t travel freely in the blood, which is liquid. Because of this, an element called lipoprotein transports it. Depending on the type of lipoprotein, the cholesterol is either good or bad.
- Low density liproteins (LDL) are in charge of taking cholesterol from the blood to the tissues.
- High density lipoproteins (HDL) are in charge of getting rid of the cholesterol that clogs tissues by taking it directly through the liver to be eliminated.
Low density lipoprotein is what we should decrease, since it clogs the arteries. This is why it’s commonly known as “bad”cholesterol. On the other hand, high density lipoprotein is considered “good” since it eliminates the bad cholesterol.
Foods Rich in Cholesterol
A balanced diet is the way to prevent or decrease high amounts of cholesterol. To do this, we should know which foods contain cholesterol and which ones don’t. Some of the foods with the highest levels are the following:
- Red meat and lunch meats
- Clams, mussels, conch meat, and lobster
- Egg yolks
- Whole milk, whole milk yogurt, fatty cheeses, and cream
- Butter and lard
Foods with no Cholesterol
Fortunately, there are products that you can consume to lower bad cholesterol that help you decrease levels:
- Fiber has properties that prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
- Antioxidants impede clogging of the arteries.
- Unsaturated fatty acids elevate the production of good or high density cholesterol.
Healthy Diet to Lower Bad Cholesterol
Below, we’ll give you some tips to plan a healthy diet to lower bad cholesterol:
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Five servings of fruit and vegetables are best to provide you with fiber and antioxidants.
- Increase your consumption of fish. Fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which lowers cholesterol. It’s good to eat white fish four times a week and blue fish two times a week.
- Decrease the amount of red meat you eat. Because of its high level of cholesterol, it should only be consumed once a week.
- Include nuts in your diet. Nuts contain polyunsaturated fatty acids that reduce this molecule.
- Eat whole grains and legumes. These foods help to prevent the absorption this element, thanks to its fiber content. Consume whole grains and legumes daily.
- Minimize your consumption of sugar. Sugar can elevate your cholesterol, so it’s important to limit its consumption.
- Avoid fried foods. When eaten in excess, they can be very harmful if you want to control your cholesterol levels.
- Use olive oil. Although it’s a fat, it’s polyunsaturated, which is recommended in place of animal fats. You can also consume canola and sunflower oil.
- Maintain a moderate consumption of eggs. Eat more egg whites, since they don’t contain as much cholesterol.