6 Foods That Can Help You Cut Down Bad Cholesterol Medical
LDL or low-density cholesterol is known as the ‘bad cholesterol’ since high levels of it can build-up plaque in the arteries.Among the various lifestyle diseases that impact our health today, high cholesterol is becoming a growing concern, affecting millions of people. It is the root cause of heart diseases, and therefore it needs to be kept in check. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in the cells of the body. Our body does require some amount of cholesterol to produce hormones, Vitamin D, and certain digestive enzymes. While our body makes all the cholesterol it needs, some amount of it is also ingested from the food we eat.
Cholesterol travels through your body through lipoprotein. These are small cells made with fat (lipo) on the outside and protein on the inside. Lipoproteins can be of two types – high density and low density. LDL or low-density cholesterol is known as the ‘bad cholesterol’ as high levels of LDL can lead to a build-up of plaque in the arteries. On the other hand, HDL is called the ‘good cholesterol’ because it transports cholesterol from the other parts to the liver that removes it from the body.
When we binge on junk, fatty, and processed foods, we increase bad cholesterol levels in the body. Hence it is important to include foods that can counter bad cholesterol and help us maintain our health. Here are six foods that you could include in your diet to fight bad cholesterol –
1. Include Beans and Lentils
According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, eating one serving a day of beans, peas or lentils can significantly reduce “bad cholesterol” by almost five percent and therefore the risk of cardiovascular disease. Pulses have a low glycemic index (foods that break down slowly) and tend to reduce or displace animal protein as well as “bad” fats such as trans fat in a dish or meal.
2. Add in Strawberries
Strawberries can dramatically reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides, revealed in a study conducted by Italian and Spanish scientists. They are known for their antioxidant properties. A few volunteers were asked to consume half a kilo of strawberries a day for a month to see whether it altered their blood parameters in any way. By the end of the month, their levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides had reduced significantly,
“The study supports the protective role of the bioactive compounds in strawberries in tackling recognized markers and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases,” said Maurizio Battino, director of the study.
3. Eat Avocados
Eating fresh avocados every day can significantly change lipid profiles and improve cholesterol levels, reveals a study conducted at the University of the Pacific at Stockton in California. According to findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, the use of avocados in lieu of solid fats and foods that have higher saturated fat content can significantly change lipid profiles.
“Fresh avocado, as part of a balanced diet and as a cholesterol-free substitute for solid fats can help be part of the solution for maintaining normal cholesterol levels,” said Nikki Ford, Ph.D., director of nutrition from Hass Avocado Board in the US.
4. Munch on Nuts
Simple dietary changes like adding pistachio nuts to the diet can lead to multiple health benefits. Nuts (mainly pistachios, almonds and walnuts) have been shown to have beneficial effects on glycemic and lipid parameters. Pistachios have a low glycemic index, are naturally cholesterol-free, and are the source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants.
Seema Gulati, research head at the National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation, said: “Based on this study, we can say that pistachios provide an excellent snack option, especially for those at risk of metabolic problems and diabetes. They provide a beneficial effect in two ways: One, by displacing energy from other unhealthy sources, and second, due to their own intrinsic nutritional properties”.
5. Get Hold of Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek helps in reducing the body’s production of cholesterol, especially low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol). The University of Michigan Health System discusses the relationship between fenugreek and high cholesterol. One of their studies states that the steroidal saponins in fenugreek seeds are thought to slow the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines as well as possibly slow the rate at which the liver produces the substance too. It’s also believed that it decreases the absorption of triglycerides from fatty foods.
6. Bite into Dark Chocolate
Studies show that moderate amounts of dark chocolate can lower LDL which is bad cholesterol and raise HDL which is good cholesterol. This, in turn, helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and a stroke. LDL builds up along the inside of arteries, forming plaque deposits and narrowing arteries. This condition can lead to a heart attack. So if dark chocolate can reduce LDL, it can eventually reduce the risk of a heart attack.
Courtesy: By http://www.ndtv.com, Source link