In general, cholesterol is beneficial for your health. It is found in the cells of your body and helps your body to form vitamins, hormones, and the substances that help you digest your taken meals. However, a higher cholesterol level is problematic for your health, especially for your heart. Too much cholesterol in your blood can get mingled with other substances and form plaque. Plaque can lie on the walls of your arteries. This buildup can lead you to coronary artery diseases in which your arteries will get blocked. And this blockage can lead you to have strokes or heart attacks if you ignore it. There are several ways to control high cholesterol levels, apart from having a full body check up regularly. Here are the steps you should take:
Avoid taking trans fats
Trans fats make good cholesterol levels come down and unhealthy cholesterol levels go up. Some dietary trans fats are naturally available in foods such as meat and milk products. Other trans fats become available in foods from their processing processes. Food processing and packaging companies create such fats by mixing hydrogen with particular fats to give them a more solid form. Here are some possible sources of trans fats:
- Meat or meat products
- Fried foods
- Dairy products
- Packaged hydrogenated oils
Lower your intake of saturated fats
At room temperature, saturated fats are solid and might not be good for your health if you take them in large amounts. Your intake of saturated fats in large amounts will cause you to have high level LDL cholesterol. As per the American Heart Association, your saturated fat intake should be 5-6% of your daily calories. Here are some primary sources of saturated fats:
- Meat & dairy products like butter, cheese, and milk
- Vegetable oils such as coconut and palm oils
Include more plant-based food items in your diet
To control cholesterol, your diet should have more plant foods like vegetables, fruits, seeds, and grains. Adding an extensive array of plant foods to your diet helps you to be sure that your body receives numerous vitamins and nutrients it requires for better function. As plant foods are free from cholesterol, they will not contribute to increasing cholesterol levels in your body. Further, plant foods have the nutrients that might help you to lower other risk factors for heart problems like some fibre types and antioxidants.
Increase your fibre intake
Fibre is crucial for your digestive health that might affect other risk factors like bad (high) cholesterol. As per a research of the American Heart Association, a fibre rich diet helps you make your high cholesterol levels come down. This decrease can be up to 10%. To increase your fibre intake, you should eat more plant foods. You can take a fibre supplement if you need extra fibre to reach your daily requirement.
Lower your refined food intake
As far as possible, you should avoid taking refined food. Packaged and refined foods contain the ingredients that lead them to be shelf-stable and have a desirable flavour. Further, these have the ingredients (added sugars, trans & saturated fats, and refined grains) that are good for you if you are determined to regulate your cholesterol levels.
Increase plant-based protein sources
As human beings, we hate taking similar food items for a longer period. We love having a wide variety in our diet. And introducing a new variety into your diet might help you manage some health risks such as heart problems. Many of you get your protein needs fulfilled primarily from animal sources. You can make a change in your protein intake by including natural grains, seeds, etc. Here are some plant-based protein sources:
- Tree nuts like cashews and almonds
- Seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, and hemp seeds
- Grains like amaranth, quinoa, and rice
- Legumes and beans like peas, lentils, and chickpeas
Make a few changes in your lifestyle
Your lavish and ultra-comfortable lifestyle is a primary cause for your bad health. To lower your cholesterol level, you should make a few changes in your lifestyle. Here are some useful tips for your assistance:
- Be physically active. Go for brisk walking, bicycling, swimming, jogging, dance classes if you don’t do workouts of high-intensity
- Avoid smoking, as it lowers your good cholesterol levels
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Keep a track of your health by availing a full body check up package getting your health checkups done regularly
Cholesterol, available in your body cells, is beneficial for your health. You need to regulate it for staying healthy and fit for a more extended period. Apart from following the above-mentioned tips, you should stay in contact with your doctor and take his/her advice for your better health.