If you are nearing your mid-thirties, then you are probably paying close attention to your health, and are daunted by words such as cholesterol or high pressure. You see, cholesterol is a substance produced by your liver when you consume food items such as eggs, meat or even dairy products.
You are someone who enjoys eating foods that are rich in sugar and saturated trans fats, then you should start monitoring your cholesterol levels regularly, as these contribute to a rise in it.
What Are The Types Of Cholesterol?
While a certain type of cholesterol might be good for your body, bad LDL cholesterol can lead to an increased risk of strokes and heart diseases, particularly when oxidized.
Now you might have looked through various health journals, consulted specialists or may have even browsed through blogs, and you might have learnt about the various ways to keep your cholesterol in check.
However, the truth is, the most important way of controlling your cholesterol is by making changes to your diet. This alone can take your cholesterol levels down by a huge margin. So, peruse through the rest of the article, and find out for yourself, what dietary changes you could make to stay fit.
1. Eat lots of foods rich in fibre:
Various studies have shown that people who take in at least four servings of fruits and vegetables are able to lower their LDL cholesterol levels by around 6% when compared to people who consume less than two servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. You see, these fibre-rich foods are high in antioxidants, which prevents your cholesterol from getting oxidized and thus lowers your chances of your arteries being clogged, which in turn protects you from high levels of cholesterol. Moreover, research has also shown that people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, decrease their chances of suffering from heart disease by almost 17%.
2. Add herbs and spices to your recipes:
Packed with vitamins, antioxidants and loads of minerals, herbs and spices are something that you should consider integrating into your staple diet. Ginger, turmeric and garlic have proven to lower cholesterol levels when consumed on a regular basis. You could actually lower your total cholesterol by almost 9% by simply eating one clove per day. Although not consumed in high amounts, herbs and spices provide your body with the level of antioxidants that are necessary to keep cholesterol at bay. Some additional ones you could try are cilantro, oregano, marjoram, thyme, sage, mint, cinnamon and clove.
3. Cut down on artificial trans fats:
Processed foods, red meat, foods from restaurants and even some dairy products are often laden with high amounts of artificial trans fats. These cheap alternatives to healthy fats have been shown to increase the bad kind of cholesterol and lower the good cholesterol, thereby increasing the chances of heart diseases by almost 23%/. If you don’t know how to identify trans fats on products, then keep an eye out for any labelling which includes the words “partially hydrogenated”. In fact, trans fats are so bad for your health, that quite a few countries have banned restaurants and processed food companies from using them.
4. Add soy and green tea into your diet:
Soybeans are rich in proteins and have proven to not only reduce the effect of cholesterol on your body but also cut down on the risk of developing heart diseases. Studies suggest that eating soy every day for about a month can increase the good cholesterol and decrease the bad cholesterol in your body by 1.4mg/dl and 4mg/dl respectively. Green tea, which is brimming with antioxidants are also really good for keeping cholesterol levels low. Research has shown that green tea helps in reducing the production of LDL in your body and even increasing its removal from your bloodstream. You can reduce your cholesterol by starting to drink just one cup a day, and slowly moving up to around 4 cups.
There are many other changes that you could make to your diet, like trying out supplements that reduce cholesterol, incorporating a more Mediterranean diet, consuming lesser added sugars and even eating a range of unsaturated fats. High cholesterol brings with it a plethora of other maladies, and you could keep yourself safe from them by simply making a few tiny changes to your diet, and watching your health soar!