Cholesterol is a two-edged sword. Your body has a love-hate relationship with cholesterol. It loves just enough cholesterol to build hormones, cell membranes, and vitamins. But when the cholesterol level goes a little higher, it can create a few problems. So, it is crucial to keep a balanced relationship with your cholesterol. Simple adjustments in your diet plan can aid in keeping your cholesterol in check.
Do you know that the food you eat has the potential to alter the course of your cholesterol levels? Well, it does! Let’s embark on a journey to find the complex code to maintain the delicate balance of cholesterol in your body.
Cholesterol – A Backstage Superstar and A Rogue Agent in Your Body
You need cholesterol, it’s a backstage superstar when it comes to, producing hormones, cells, and vitamins. Cholesterol also aids digestion. Without cholesterol, your body can not function adequately. However, when cholesterol levels go awry, it becomes a rogue agent that clogs your arteries and threatens your heart health.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance. The liver produces cholesterol, and the food you consume will also carry cholesterol in it. There are two types of cholesterol in the body.
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – LDL or bad cholesterol is the main cause behind fat build-up in the arteries. High levels of LDL can increase the risk of heart disease.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – HDL or good cholesterol carries excess cholesterol from other parts of the body to the liver.
Increased cholesterol can create various health issues. The complications of high cholesterol are,
- Plaque build-up inside blood vessels
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Carotid artery disease
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Type 2 diabetes
Now you are aware that high cholesterol creates adverse effects on your body. Since the foods you eat carry cholesterol into your bloodstream, maintaining healthy eating habits can have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels.
Top 5 Foods To Maintain A Healthy Balance of Cholesterol
If you want to lower your cholesterol level, include the following food items in your diet.
Oatmeal is a great source of fiber. Fiber can reduce cholesterol. There are two types of fibers. Soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber that can trap excess cholesterol and remove it from your body as waste.
Eggplants are the richest source of soluble fiber and chlorogenic acid found in eggplants can reduce LDL levels.
The creamy flesh of avocado has soluble and insoluble fiber in it. The fiber from it can improve HDL cholesterol and regulate the level of LDL as well.
Kiwi fruits contain Vitamin C. Kiwi contains properties that can reduce blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.
Include raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries in your diet. They are rich in fiber, so, they can reduce cholesterol levels. Besides, berries are low in calories. You can eat it guilt-free.
Consuming plenty of fiber-rich foods will help you maintain a balanced cholesterol level. Fiber can reduce cholesterol in your body. You can also add leafy greens, almonds, and oily fish to your diet to reduce cholesterol.
Foods That Can Increase Your Cholesterol Level
If you are someone struggling with high cholesterol levels, consider reducing consumption of these food items.
Beef, pork, and lamb have saturated fats in them. Excess consumption of these may result in heart disease. You don’t need to avoid red meat from your diet. However, reduce excess intake of them, and eat them occasionally.
Anything deep-fried increases the cholesterol levels. Deep-fried meat contains high cholesterol and trans fat. Avoid eating fried food at all costs if you have high cholesterol and heart-related health problems.
Heads up! If you have a sweet tooth limit excess sugar intake. Cookies, cakes, and ice cream are not good for your health. They contain fats and excess calories. Consuming a lot of pastries and baked foods will increase cholesterol levels.
Sausages, bacon, and hot dogs will make delicious snacks. However, processed meat is considered unhealthy, because it contains high amounts of cholesterol.
It is best to avoid certain high-cholesterol foods from your diet to protect the overall well-being of your health. Include oatmeal, avocados, kiwis, eggplants, and berries in the diet to control your cholesterol. Shift to a healthier diet and lifestyle to maintain good health. It is always better to seek your doctor’s opinion before you make drastic changes in your diet.