Natural Ways To Lower Cholesterol Level

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Cholesterol has many important functions. However, like anything in the body, too much cholesterol or cholesterol in the wrong places creates problems. The transport of cholesterol in the body depends on molecules called lipoproteins, which carry cholesterol, fat and fat-soluble vitamins in the blood. Different kinds of lipoproteins have different effects on health. High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) result in cholesterol deposits on blood vessel walls, which is a health risk. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) helps carry cholesterol away from vessel walls and helps prevent diseases. Read on to know about some natural ways in which “good” HDL cholesterol can be increased and “bad” LDL cholesterol can be lowered.

Although food companies often advertise products as low in cholesterol, dietary cholesterol actually only has a small influence on the amount of cholesterol in the body. This is because the liver changes the amount of cholesterol it makes depending on how much you eat. When your body absorbs more cholesterol from your diet, it makes less in the liver. While dietary cholesterol has little influence on cholesterol levels, other foods in your diet can worsen them, as can family history and a sedentary lifestyle. Several other lifestyle choices can help increase the beneficial HDL and decrease the harmful LDL.

  1. A diet high in monounsaturated fats can reduce harmful LDL, and also protect higher levels of healthy HDL. Monounsaturated fats may also reduce the oxidation of lipoproteins, which contributes to clogged arteries. Here are a few great sources of monounsaturated fats: Olives and olive oil; Canola oil; Tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews; Avocados.
  2. Research shows that polyunsaturated fats reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease. Polyunsaturated fats may also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Omega-3 fatty acids are an especially heart-healthy type of polyunsaturated fat. They’re found in seafood and fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fats are found in high amounts in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, and deep-sea tuna, and to a lesser degree in shellfish.
  3. Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been modified by a process called hydrogenation. Trans fats are not fully saturated, and are solid at room temperatures. This is why food companies use trans fats in products like bread-spreads, pastries, and cookies – they provide more texture than unsaturated, liquid oils. Unfortunately, partially hydrogenated trans fats are handled differently in the body than other fats, and not in a good way. Foods with “partially hydrogenated” oil in the ingredients contain trans fats and are harmful.
  4. Soluble fiber is a group of different compounds in plants that dissolve in water and that humans can’t digest. However, the beneficial bacteria that live in our intestines, also called probiotics, can digest soluble fiber. Probiotics reduce harmful kinds of lipoproteins and soluble fiber’s benefits reduce the risk of disease. Some of the best sources of soluble fiber include beans, peas and lentils, fruit, oats, and whole grains. Fiber supplements like psyllium are also safe.

If your cholesterol is out of balance, lifestyle interventions are the first line of treatment. But regular visits to the doctor are also important.

Source: healthline.com
Image courtesy: shutterstock.com

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