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Foods that lower cholesterol levels

8 Foods that lower your cholesterol levels

Cholesterol And Its Causes 

Cholesterol is a type of fat that comes in the form of waxy, fatty particles. These are floating around in your blood. The cholesterol in your blood helps in many ways. 

Cholesterol keeps the cells in your body healthy. Cholesterol also helps in making sex hormones. Cholesterol helps to maintain cell membranes and it is also used to make hormones and vitamin D. But, cholesterol levels can become unbalanced due to high and low levels of cholesterol.

Not everyone has an equal amount of cholesterol in their body. The level of cholesterol in the body varies. High cholesterol in the blood means there is too much cholesterol. If there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it can cause blockages in your arteries. 

When the artery becomes blocked, blood flow to that area becomes restricted. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Cholesterol levels are measured using a variety of models based on risk factors, with total cholesterol being just one factor among many in assessing risk for coronary heart disease (CHD).

Cholesterol levels can be measured with a blood test. A healthy person’s cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg/dl. If your levels are above 240 mg/dl you need to take some preventative measures. 

However, if your cholesterol level is below 50 mg/dl you might need additional tests to figure out why you have such low levels and treat accordingly.

Good & Bad Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance present in the bloodstream. It is used to make hormones and for other purposes throughout the body. There are two types of blood cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. LDL and HDL are substances that carry cholesterol through your blood vessels to your cells.

Good cholesterol, also known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is helpful to the human body as it helps in the effective elimination of bad cholesterol from the body and improves the value of arterial dilation to increase blood circulation.

Bad cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) mostly has negative effects on the human body as it builds up in the arteries and veins of the heart causing a heart attack, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and fatty liver that leads to cirrhosis. 

Ways To Control Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a good friend of ours, but sometimes it takes a surge and starts to cause trouble. Sometimes the level of cholesterol is so high that it becomes a risk to our health. That's why we should understand how to control cholesterol.

The first thing you need to know is that cholesterol is not only harmful to the heart but to other organs as well like it can cause problems with memory, reduce attention, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease as well as hair loss. If you are experiencing hair loss, then you should know that all these problems might be connected with increased cholesterol.

A healthy diet can help you control cholesterol. Avoid foods rich in trans fats, saturated fats and sodium.

Niacin (Vitamin B3) is helpful for controlling cholesterol. It helps blood circulation and reduces blood clots. 

Biotin (Vitamin B7) also reduces the concentration of bad cholesterol in the body and prevents heart disease. Vitamin C reduces heart attacks and strokes, prevents blood clots and strengthens blood vessels.

8 Foods to Control High Cholesterol

Do you have a specific diet to control cholesterol? If not, then brace yourselves because is it possible to control cholesterol by making a specific diet chart? 

The diet chart must-have foods that have low fat and cholesterol content. These food items can be used to make a diet chart for controlling cholesterol. 

You can lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol by making small changes in your daily eating habits. First and foremost, you should eat a healthy breakfast that includes whole grains, lean protein and fruit. 

Here are some of the foods that lower cholesterol levels:

  1. Carrots: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects the body from damage. It also contains soluble fiber that can aid in lowering cholesterol levels. Carrots are rich in Vitamin A and C, which help in protecting the body from cardiovascular diseases.
  1. Salmon: Salmon is very rich in Omega 3 and protein, which can help in balancing the levels of cholesterol in your body. Salmon is a great alternative to red meat because it’s a nutrient-dense food that can help raise good cholesterol levels.
  1. Soy: Soybeans and foods made from soybeans like tofu and soy milk have powerful properties to lower cholesterol levels. Consuming 25 grams of soy protein a day can lower LDL by 5%.
  1. Nuts: Studies suggest that eating nuts like almonds, walnuts, peanuts, etc are good for the heart. They can lower LDL and provide additional nutrients to the body that helps in protecting the heart in other ways.
  1. Beans: Beans are a rich source of soluble fiber. They take extra time to get digested, hence keeping you feeling fuller for a long time. Legumes and pulses, including baked beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, split peas, etc can help lower cholesterol levels.
  1. Avocados: Avocados are nutrient-dense fruit and are a rich source of monounsaturated fats and fiber. These two nutrients help in lowering LDL.
  1. Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate can lower bad cholesterol as it protects LDL in your blood from oxidation, which is the major cause of heart disease. We recommend using cocoa alone or choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 75 % or higher to lower your cholesterol.
  1. Garlic: Garlic is an essential kitchen ingredient that has been used for centuries not just in dishes but also for treating various minor health issues. Garlic contains various powerful plant compounds like allicin. These compounds can lower blood pressure and may also help lower cholesterol. 

Take Away

In the bloodstream, there is a wide variety of lipids. Cholesterol is a lipid that is made from fat and is found in all areas of the body. When cholesterol particles build up on artery walls they cause fatty plaque build ups, which can lead to blockages and heart attacks.

High cholesterol is known to increase the risk of coronary artery disease. The risk of cardiovascular diseases is further increased when there is high blood pressure or diabetes. Since high cholesterol levels are among the major risk factors that pave the way to the development of this disease, it is extremely important for people with cholesterol levels to be kept in check.