One of the ways of staying healthy is to have a diet that will help you reduce or eliminate high cholesterol. The food we eat is the leading way for us to personally control our cholesterol levels.
Saturated fats are one of the main causes of high cholesterol levels in the body; they enable the liver to produce low density lipoprotein (LDL), otherwise known as bad cholesterol. This type of cholesterol has the ability to block the walls of the arteries, leading to inflammation and damage if the process continues for a long time.
If you have high cholesterol level, there are some foods that you need to eat to bring the level to the normal. If you are thinking of the high cholesterol diet necessary to improve & maintain desirable cholesterol levels, consider the following:
1. Copper: This will help you to regulate cholesterol metabolism by increasing HDL and decreasing LDL.
- Lobster and crayfish
- Sunflower seeds
2. Chromium: This helps in breaking down fats, to help in reducing LDL cholesterol and increase HDL.
3. Soluble fiber: This is a source of beta glucans and always interferes in the production and absorption of cholesterol.
- Dried beans
- Peas, fresh
4. Flavonoids: This prevents the production of LDL cholesterol
- Grapefruit, white (PROHIBITED WITH CERTAIN CHOLESTEOL MEDICATIONS)
5. Lycopene: This helps in interfering with the synthesis of cholesterol
- Grapefruits, pink (PROHIBITED WITH CERTAIN CHOLESTEOL MEDICATIONS)
6. Garlic: This is anti-athlerosclerotic, and helps to reduce the cholesterol released into blood
7. Omega-3 fatty acids: These help to reduce cholesterol
- Oil, flaxseed
- Canola oil
- Olive oil
8. Pantothenic acid: This helps in reducing the amount of lipids found in the blood
- Sunflower seeds
9. Vitamin C: This is likely to help you in preventing the buildup plaque in the coronary arteries. This is done by reducing the inflammation.
- Kiwi fruit
- Cabbage, red
- Peppers, bell, red
- Tangerines and other mandarins
10. Soy isoflavones: This will help you reduce LDL cholesterol levels
- Soy products
11. Vitamin E: This helps the body in preventing free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol
- Sunflower seeds
- Brazil nuts
Generally, if you want to reduce bad cholesterol in your body, you need to reduce the intake of fats. It is important to make the intake of fats to be below 30% of the food you eat daily. If you already have high cholesterol, you should always eat less than 25% fat of the total calories. Make every effort to get your fat intake from good sources like canola oil and fish.
There are certain cases when people can’t achieve normal cholesterol levels through lifestyle changes like exercise & cutting high cholesterol diet. For these people usually high cholesterol runs in family and they have to take medication in addition to lifestyle & diet changes.
In summary, these are the do’s and don’ts of high cholesterol diet to follow:
Some of the DO’s are:
- Eat a lot of fiber. You can find them in vegetables and fruits.
- Eat different fishes. Fish contains omega 3 fatty acids. This will help you in increasing HDL cholesterol.
- Instead of white bread, eat whole wheat. This contains fiber, which can help the intestine with the elimination of excess cholesterol.
- Higher vitamin intake to help your body metabolism and reduce bad cholesterol.
Some of the DON’T's are:
- Stop eating red meat. If you cannot do without it, you may reduce the quantity & rate at which you eat it.
- Reduce the consumption of chicken, turkey, etc.
- Stop smoking. This is very important because even if you eat the right type of diet to get rid of bad cholesterol in the body, there is a higher risk of getting a heart disease or attack as smoking is responsible for the oxidation of the cholesterol found in the body, and oxidized cholesterol is very dangerous because it forms plaques in the blood vessels.
Diet plays an important role when dealing with bad cholesterol in the body. Of course, following the right path may be very difficult because this means lifestyle changes, you can start by gradually changing your diet, instead of a fast, drastic change. The problem most people face is the failure to overcome bad habits, which cause high cholesterol. Most of the habits have been with them for years; in some people, right from childhood. In the presence of many other factors, diet plays an important role in determining the state of your health. As time passes by with your new lifestyle, you’ll discover that it is not that difficult to live on the right high cholesterol diet.