Cholesterol is a substance that is developed inside the liver and other cells in your body. It has a waxy texture and can be found in various foods we consume daily. Not all cholesterol is bad as our body needs it to operate correctly. However, the body doesnt need too much cholesterol because it can lead to serious health issues such as heart disease.
Good & Bad Cholesterol
LDL is the bad cholesterol that can lead to heart disease when there is too much of it present. Also, known as low density lipoproteins, LDL will make your artery walls develop an excessive amount of plaque around it.
High density lipoproteins, or HDL is the good cholesteorol that will assist your body with the removal of bad cholesterol inside the blood stream. If you have low levels of this type of cholesterol it will lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
Very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) and triglycerides are a couple of other forms of cholesterol that contian a lot of fat and not a lot of protein.
What Causes High Cholesterol
Lack of Nutrition
When you dont consume foods with enough nutritional value you will experience high levels of LDL. Food items responsible for high LDL levels include cheeses, cream, pastry, cakes, sausages, and other foods that are high in saturated fats.
Smoking can cause your LDL levels to rise dramatically. This is why smoking is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and other health problems related to high cholesterol.
When you are overweight or obese you can expect to have higher levels of LDL and much lower levels of HDL.
When you arent active and spend most of your time sitting or lying around the house it will increase your levels of LDL and reduce your HDL levels. This is why exercising is always recommended to people interested in lowering high cholesterol levels.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce your bad cholesterol levels and prevent various health problems. Take a look at 10 foods that have been known to increase your HDL levels (good cholesterol) and lower your LDL levels (bad cholesterol).
Flaxseed is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which both will help to deal with high cholesterol effectively. The omega-3 fatty acids will protect your heart by preventing the build up of plaque around the artery walls which is responsible for heart attacks.
The fiber will bind with cholesterol to stop it from being absorbed by the body. Flaxseeds will also help to increase your HDL cholesterol levels by strengthening the amount of apoliprotein A1 in your body.
You can lower your cholesterol levels by eating more oats, because it will absorb LDL found in your body and get rid of it when you pass stools. It is the soluble fiber naturally found in oats that will help to decrease the quantity of cholesterol that the body absorbs, thus leading to a decrease in cholesterol. Other grains such as barley are great for reducing cholesterol the bad cholesterol found in your body.
Garlic has been well known to decrease the risk of a heart attack by reducing LDL cholesterol in the body. It will also stop the plaque from being deposited on the walls of the arteries around the heart. If you eat a 3-6 cloves of raw garlic daily it will help have a positive effect on your high LDL cholesterol.
Just like flaxseed most fish have a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids in it. These omega-3 fatty acids will help you lower your cholesterol and keep your heart in good condition.
The best kinds are fatty fishes such as trout, salmon, halibut, and sardines. These fatty acids wont only help to decrease your LDL levels but also improve the amount of HDL is in your system.
Nuts contain a lot of polyunsaturated fatty acids in them that will help to reduce cholesterol and improve the health of your arteries, thus helping your heart function better. Snack on nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios on a daily basis to reduce cholesterol levels.
Most people cook with canola oil or vegetable oil, which are loaded with saturated fats. As stated earlier, saturated fats are a huge cause of high cholesterol and heart disease.
Olive oil on the other hand is rich with unsaturated fats which can help you take care of high LDL levels and improve the amount of HDL you have. Use olive to make your salad dressings and to cook with. Olive oil may cost you a little more in price, but it is well worth it when you start seeing your LDL levels drop significantly.
It has been proven that beans are great for your heart and lowering bad cholesterol. Similar to oats, beans are rich in soluble fiber that will absorb cholesterol and remove it from your system.
The best beans for reducing high cholesterol include, kidney, black, and pinto beans. You can add beans to your salad, soup, and other dishes to help with high cholesterol levels.
Everybody loves strawberries, but few know that it can help with high cholesterol. It is the fiber known as pectin found in strawberries that help it reduce LDL levels. So if you dont like the taste of oats, beans, or barley start eating some sweet and delicious strawberries.
The high amount of antioxidants found in most teas are great for fighting off LDL cholesterol levels. The best teas to drink are black and green teas. Start drinking tea each morning instead of coffee and watch your cholesterol begin to drop.
Soy is rich in saturated fat and good cholesterol so it makes sense to add this to your diet to reduce LDL.