Cholesterol is similar to fats circulating in the blood, produced mainly by the liver from ingested fat. The greater the concentration of cholesterol in the blood, the greater its deposition on the walls of the arteries, progressively obstructing blood flow.
So, there are two types of cholesterol, known as good (HDL) and known as bad (LDL), we need both in our body, but there need to be balanced. LDL helps in the functioning of fats in the body, aiding in producing some hormones and vitamin D. Nonetheless, if excessive, it can trap grease in the arterial wall, leading to “high cholesterol” and severe health problems.
Genetic factors and diabetes can also contribute to increased cholesterol, hence the importance of periodic examinations under medical supervision.
What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?
Hypercholesterolemia is a silent disease. There are no specific symptoms. Therefore, it is essential to have periodic tests to measure the levels. In addition, change in lifestyle is necessary, including a balanced diet, aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, or cycling), abstinence from smoking (smoking leads to a drop in HDL – cholesterol), and weight loss in the indicated cases.
How to prevent and lower cholesterol?
Changes in cholesterol levels are related to our diet. A few simple measures can help control your cholesterol. Reduce the use of oil, avoid the consumption of fatty foods, fried foods, and foods rich in cholesterol, especially those of animal origins, such as whole milk and dairy products, eggs, bacon, cold cuts, and sausages (mortadella, ham, salami, sausage, sausage, etc.), offal (liver, heart, gizzard) and shrimp.
The fiber consumption, present in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL).
To make it easier to understand, see below what to avoid and what is released in the diet to control cholesterol.
What to Avoid – Foods That Raise Cholesterol
- Processed foods;
- Fast food;
- Fatty meats with apparent fat, poultry skin;
- Cold cuts and sausages (mortadella, ham, salami, sausage, sausage, etc.);
- Whole milk and dairy products (whole yogurt, butter, sour cream, creamy and yellow cheeses);
- Ice cream, chocolates, sweets with coconut, chocolate or whipped cream, milkshake, creams for dessert;
- Biscuits or buttery bread, puff pastries, croissants, cheese bread, crackling bread, and sweet bread with filling;
- Fried foods and very fatty foods;
Are Released – Foods That Control Cholesterol
- Lean meat, skinless poultry, seafood, and fish (prefer salt and cold water – salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and herring, as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids);
- Cereals such as whole grain rice, whole wheat flour, corn, soy, oats, and wholegrain bread;
- All kinds of vegetables;
- All fruits, except coconut (coconut water ad libitum);
- So, extra virgin olive oil (olive oil) and canola;
- Skimmed milk and its derivatives;
- The unsaturated fats in olive oils, canola oil, olives, avocados, walnuts, walnuts and almonds reduce total cholesterol without lowering HDL cholesterol. In cases of overweight or obesity, and should control intake, as these foods are high in calories. Decreasing the intake of saturated fat found in fatty meats, whole milk, and dairy products, coconut pulp, for example, will reduce total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol.
- Beware of salt! Its high consumption can be harmful to the heart due to the increase in blood pressure.
- Too much sugar causes obesity, thus increasing the risk of heart disease.
- Physical exercise, as long as it is done under specialized guidance, brings health benefits, in addition to being great leisure.
- The frequent use of fiber in food reduces cholesterol in the blood and provides a good functioning of the intestine.
- The use of probiotics found in yogurt is beneficial in lowering cholesterol. But consume low-fat or light yogurts (with reduced fat and sugar).
- Phytosterols, if used in the correct amount, reduce the absorption of dietary cholesterol. The primary sources of phytosterols are vegetable oils from sunflower, soybean, canola, fruits, and vegetables. Today there are already some foods that are full of phytosterols, such as margarines and milk formulas. You can consume it in the doses recommended by the manufacturer.
- Be sure to seek medical advice and other specialized professionals (nutritionists, physical educators, etc.) and take tests to check cholesterol levels. Then, combining food + physical activity, you’ll be able to maintain your body’s balance for a healthy life.