Cholesterol and its role in our body
A naturally occurring waxy substance, cholesterol comes from two sources. The liver manufactures cholesterol and it is found in foods from animals (also known as dietary cholesterol), for example, dairy products and meat. Your body requires cholesterol for the proper functioning of nerves, cells, and hormones in your system. It naturally produces the required quantity of cholesterol to keep your system functioning normally. While cholesterol is not bad for your body, too much of it can become a problem. Given below are some healthy ways of controlling cholesterol.
10 healthy ways to control cholesterol
Your cholesterol can be kept in check by adopting the proper regimen of weight management, regular physical exercise, and a healthy eating plan. However, due to other medical reasons, if the lifestyle changes do not keep your cholesterol levels under control, you may need to undergo medication through cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Constant and proper weight management is essential to keep your cholesterol under control. Even a few extra kilos can contribute to a high cholesterol level. Start by evaluating your dietary habits and daily routine. If you are overweight, take steps to reduce at the earliest. Remember, weight loss reduces total cholesterol by decreasing the creation of new cholesterol in the liver.
The absorption and production of cholesterol are influenced by your dietary habits. Regular ingestion of food items, especially those that are high in saturated and trans fats, can increase the cholesterol levels in your body. Make sure that you eat more of healthy food rather than fast food and takeouts. Include foods high in proteins and soluble fibers. This will help in keeping your weight and cholesterol levels under control.
If boredom or frustration makes you reach out for food; desist and go for a walk instead.
Incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine; say, instead of using the elevator, try walking up the stairs. Your daily routine should incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity if not more. A good regime to follow would be 15 minutes of aerobic activity followed by 15 minutes of resistance-band workouts. Intense exercise not only increases the benefits of keeping your cholesterol in check, it is also the best way to manage your weight and keep it under control.
Monounsaturated fats are good
Unsaturated fats possess double chemical bond/ bonds that alter the method in which they are utilized by our body. As monounsaturated fats have just a singular double bond, a diet containing the same reduces the levels of harmful LDL cholesterol, prevents the degeneration of healthy HDL, and reduces harmful oxidation. Some sources of monounsaturated fats are also good sources of polyunsaturated fat; these include olives, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, olive oil, canola oil, tree nuts, almonds, and cashews.
Polyunsaturated fats & Omega-3s
Polyunsaturated fats behave differently than saturated fats as they have multiple double bonds.Polyunsaturated fats decrease the harmful LDL cholesterol. They also add a check to the dangers of cardiac issues taking place in your body. Polyunsaturated fats also decrease the dangers of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered to contain healthy polyunsaturated fat, are available in seafood, fish oil supplements, etc.
Keep away from trans fats
Trans fats are in the nature of unsaturated fats that have undergone the process of hydrogenation to make them better-stabilized ingredients. You may want to check out different kinds of margarine and shortenings that contain trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils or unsaturated fats; avoid these products should be as they are responsible for serious health diseases.
Ingest soluble fibers
Soluble fibers refer to different compound groups in plants. While it is not possible for humans to digest these fibers, they are required by the beneficial bacteria living in human intestines for their survival and nutrition needs. The daily intake of soluble fiber supplements decreases LDL by an appreciable percentage. This is because these fibers provide for the survival of probiotics or good bacteria that is responsible for decreasing harmful kinds of lipoproteins, namely VLDL and LDL. Some good sources of soluble fibers encompass beans, peas, oats, whole grains, lentils, fruit, etc.
Smoking increases the dangers of cardiovascular ailments in more ways than one. The immune cells present in regular smokers are incapable of returning cholesterol from the walls of carrier vessels to carry it by the blood to the liver. Giving up smoking leads to increased HDL levels, reduction of bad lipoproteins, and decreased total cholesterol.
Take alcohol in moderation
If enjoyed in moderate quantities, the ethanol present in alcoholic drinks known to increase HDL and lower the dangers of heart ailments. For instance, in comparison to white grape juice, drinking white wine on an everyday basis can improve HDL by a larger percentage. In order to improve HDL cholesterol, you may take 1–2 drinks every day. Drinking in moderate quantities will also lead to a reduction in the dangers of clogged arteries in your body. Warn your self that heavier alcohol intake will increase the dangers of heart diseases and will also affect the liver functions adversely. It will also increase the possibility of dependence!
Consider sterols, plant stanols, and supplements
There are different types of supplements that provide healthy ways of controlling cholesterol. Strive to include sterols and plant stanols in your diet; these are versions of plant cholesterol and do not lead to clogged arteries. You will find these ingredients in certain vegetable oils and butter substitutes.Fish oil and soluble fibers are helpful for promoting heart health and controlling cholesterol, the healthy way. You may want to include fiber supplements such as psyllium as well as fish oil supplements to decrease the harmful effects of cholesterol.
Always strive to keep your cholesterol levels in balance to lead a healthy life. In a nutshell, include unsaturated fats, plant sterols, soluble fibers and plant sterols, good HDL and subtract bad LDL. Hence, following are the regimes for weight loss, regular exercise, and abstinence from smoking, which helps as well!