Living a healthy life by lowering your cholesterol levels

Improving our health through smart health management

One of the major factors for stroke and heart disease is high blood cholesterol making it very dangerous that one should steer clear of. However, not all cholesterols are bad. There is what is called ‘good cholesterol’. HDL or high-density lipoproteins is good cholesterol that competes against the detrimental LDL or low-density lipoproteins, ‘bad cholesterol’. HDL competes against LDL for absorption and can unclog blood vessels. There are various drugs available in the market that help cut your cholesterol level down; however, you can also accomplish this by simply having good diet and staying away from foods that are sources of LDL.

In your diet, you have to eat more unsaturated fats. To lower bad cholesterol, replace the calories that you get from highly refined foods with more healthy fats. Eat plenty of whole grains everyday. Cereals, rice and whole grain breads can decrease bad cholesterol in your body. Grains also have antioxidants that help protect the body from the harmful effects of the bad cholesterol that is left in the body. 3 servings of whole grain foods per day are recommended.

Saturated fats in your diet must be reduced. It should be noted that LDL, bad cholesterol, enters the body through foods that contain saturated fats. These foods are most commonly animal based like butter and meat. Fats that are solid at room temperature are generally not good for the heart thus it should be eaten in limited quantities. It should be noted as well that only less than 7 percent of your total calorie should come from saturated fats.

Intake of soluble fiber should be increased for the reason that fiber helps move food through the digestive tract more quickly. With the help of fiber, less saturated fat is absorbed by the body because fiber makes the movement of the food through the digestive tract faster thus inhibiting absorption. Oatmeal, fruits, whole grains, beans and vegetables are fiber rich and increase intake of these foods can indeed cut your cholesterol level.

Lessening intake of bad cholesterol is important to cut your cholesterol level down. Along with this, increasing intake of the good cholesterol is as important as well. Omega-3 fatty acid is an example of good cholesterol. Flaxseed and fish such as trout, mackerel, sardines, albacore, herring, salmon and tuna are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Nuts are good sources or good cholesterol as well. Walnuts have polyunsaturated fatty acids and plant sterols that maintain blood vessels elastic and healthy and lower bad cholesterol level. Walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds or pecans can be taken everyday at a daily serving of 1.5 oz. Note that nuts are high in calories thus intake must be at limited amount.

Aside from taking less saturated fats and more unsaturated fats, it is also important to limit your total calorie intake especially if you are overweight. To cut your cholesterol level down, daily physical exercise can also help you achieve a healthier body.

Seafood like salmon and shrimp contain almost zero saturated fats thus eating these types of food can cut your cholesterol level down and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Fruits are not only rich in vitamin C but also fiber. Fruits and vegetables should be taken daily. The best thing about these groups of food is that you can take as many and as often as you want. Both fruits and vegetables are high in fiber that helps in lowering cholesterol in the body. They are rich in antioxidants as well thus giving you additional armor in fighting against diseases.