5 Effective Steps to Reduce High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is major responsible for heart disease and heart attacks. If any person has high cholesterol, he or she is at higher risk for heart attack or hear disease. Medication can help improve cholesterol but it will good work first make lifestyle change to control high cholesterol. You can lower your high cholesterol by changing your daily habits.
Do you know how to reduce cholesterol by following some methods? It is very essential for everyone. Hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol is a severe problem that affects a large part of the population and many people do not understand about the fateful consequences.
Having high cholesterol levels is the main cause of heart attacks and heart diseases, but there are several ways to prevent it.
Firstly, we should learn what is cholesterol really. What risks it poses to your health.
What is Cholesterol?
Generally, we relate cholesterol to heart diseases, heart attacks.
However, almost no one knows that cholesterol is an essential substance for the proper functioning of the organism:
It is found in all cell membranes forming the structure of the cell.
Participates in the production of sex hormones, such as estrogen or testosterone.
It participates in the production of corticosteroid hormones, such as cortisol.
Participates in the production of vitamin D.
We could not live without cholesterol. In fact, the human body has its own mechanisms to ensure that at no time does a lack of cholesterol affect us.
Did you know that the liver produces the majority of blood cholesterol and, in addition, is responsible for regulating these levels?
A very small part of the cholesterol present in our body comes from the foods we eat and, when we eat many foods high in cholesterol, the liver reduces its production.
In other words, eating foods high in cholesterol hardly alters total blood cholesterol levels, since the liver keeps them stable.
Info-graphic Credit: Flickr.com
Differences between HDL and LDL cholesterol
In common language, we talk about HDL cholesterol or LDL cholesterol. But in terms of cardiovascular health, when we talk about the term “cholesterol” we refer to the mode of transport of the same.
Cholesterol is a fat-soluble molecule, dissolves in fat, and this prevents it from moving itself through the bloodstream.
For this reason, there are structures called lipoproteins that are responsible for transporting cholesterol through the blood:
HDL: High Density Lipoproteins; It is molecules that transport cholesterol from the body to the liver.
LDL: Low Density Lipoproteins, It is molecules that transport cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body.
HDL lipoproteins or HDL cholesterol are known as “good cholesterol” and LDL lipoproteins or LDL cholesterol are known as “bad cholesterol. “
Why this value?
HDL Cholesterol: It is “good” because lipoproteins collect circulating or stuck fat in the veins and carry it to the liver, where it is processed.
LDL Cholesterol: It is “bad” because when there is an excess of this type of lipoproteins, they can accumulate in the walls of veins and arteries leaving the cholesterol they carry “stuck”.
The higher the levels of HDL cholesterol, the lower the chances that cholesterol will clog the veins and the lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Likewise, LDL cholesterol is subdivided into two types according to the size of lipoproteins:
- Small and dense LDL
- Large and lightweight LDL
According to several studies, people who generally have small LDL units usually have three times the risk of heart problems than people with a majority of large LDL units.
Note: The issue of cholesterol and lipoproteins is a very complex issue and this is just a very basic summary so you can know. At least, whether or not your cholesterol levels pose a danger.
5 steps to reduce cholesterol
The following guidelines will help you lower cholesterol without resorting to medications or drugs.
However, if your cholesterol levels are very high, you may need to follow medical treatment.
Reduce the intake of refined carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates are also known as simple carbohydrates or processed carbohydrates and are considered empty calories.
There are two types:
Sugars: Processed and refined sugars such as high fructose corn syrup.
Refined Cereals: Grains to which the germ and bran (Nutritional Parts) have been removed and only maintain the endosperm.
This type of food is characterized by having a high glycemic index, which causes spikes in blood glucose levels and causes an increase in insulin; a very negative effect in diabetic people.
Also, several studies have shown that foods with a high glycemic index reduce the amount of HDL cholesterol and raise LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Another interesting fact is that the low – carbohydrate diets increase the size of small, dense LDL particles, making them large and light particles, and descend LDL cholesterol levels.
2. Avoid any food with trans fats
Artificial or industrial trans fats are hydrogenated fats that are made by introducing hydrogen molecules into vegetable oil.
Since the 1970s, many clinical trials and epidemiological studies have been carried out that confirm a strong relationship between the intake of trans fats and the increased risk of heart disease.
When replacing trans fats with another type of fat or carbohydrates, the results of clinical trials are clear:
Increase the total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio.
Increase LDL cholesterol.
It negatively affects the ApoB/ApoA1 relationship.
What foods contain trans fats and therefore you should avoid?
- Vegetable oils.
- Salty and sweet snacks.
- Pastry and industrial pastry.
- Sauces and commercial condiments.
- Ice cream.
If reading the ingredient list is written “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” means containing trans fats.
3. Practice physical exercise
Performing physical exercise has many positive effects on health and one of them is cholesterol reduction.
Several studies have confirmed that the practice of physical exercise improves the lipid profile in several ways:
- Increase HDL cholesterol.
- Reduce triglycerides.
- Reduce LDL cholesterol.
Convert dense and small LDL lipoproteins into large and light LDL lipoproteins.
In addition, both intense and less intense physical exercise are valid for regulating cholesterol levels: running or walking have almost the same positive effects on cholesterol.
4. Don’t Smoke
As a general rule, smokers have higher levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides than non-smokers.
They also have a lower amount of HDL cholesterol and a higher amount of oxidized LDL cholesterol, which increases the risk of atherosclerosis.
Noted that, it is clear that not smoking or quitting this habit will greatly reduce “bad” cholesterol and, with it, the risk of heart attacks or heart attacks.
5. Take spirulina
Spirulina is a class of bacteria, also known as blue-green algae, with a high nutrient and protein content of the highest quality.
According to numerous studies, consuming 1 gram of spirulina daily can:
- Decrease triglycerides by 16.3%
- Decrease LDL cholesterol by 10.1%.
- Decrease total cholesterol by 8.9%.
- Increase HDL cholesterol.
Read More: Why It is Good to Eat Fish During Pregnancy?