Decoding the Best Foods to Boost Good Cholesterol
December 2, 2022
December 2, 2022
Over the years, the problems related to high cholesterol have seen a significant rise. One of the significant reasons for that is the lack of information and awareness. People fail to realise how important their lifestyle and nutrition has become in this modern age. With the increase in popularity of fast and processed foods, high cholesterol levels have become a common health issue.
Cholesterol is a substance that flows along with the bloodstream. It is essential for building healthy cells, vitamins, and other hormones in your body. You can differentiate it into two types, i.e. HDL – High Density Lipoprotein, commonly known as good cholesterol and LDL – Low Density Lipoprotein, widely known as bad cholesterol.
Primarily, we procure cholesterol in our body in two ways: producing it through the liver and acquiring it from the different types of food daily. Therefore, your meals and the kind of lifestyle you lead play a significant role in your cholesterol balance. Hence, you can avoid most of the issues relating to cholesterol with a balanced diet and sufficient amounts of physical activity.
HDL cholesterol, primarily known as good cholesterol, is health-friendly as it helps us combat bad cholesterol. Furthermore, it aids in getting rid of LDL through the process of excretion. LDL affects your body by sticking on the inside of your artery walls, hindering the bloodstream flow towards the heart. Whereas the good cholesterol flowing in our blood helps remove bad cholesterol. As a result, our bodies need an adequate amount of HDL to maintain a healthy balance.
Your liver generally secretes all of the necessary cholesterol required by your body in sufficient amounts. You can obtain the rest through food sources. When the bad cholesterol is in abundance, the good cholesterol tries to absorb as much LDL it can and then takes it back to the liver, whereafter it discards out of the body through excretion.
Your body can produce sufficient amounts of required cholesterol. your meals’ offset upsets the balance. Hence, you need more good cholesterol from outside sources. With changes in your diet and lifestyle, you can appropriately increase levels of good HDL cholesterol and reduce levels of bad LDL cholesterol without needing heavy medication in most cases.
cAll such foods offer health benefits related to cholesterol and may also help improve your lifestyle in more ways than one.
First and foremost, let’s talk about the miracle drink that we all find ways to avoid in our day to day life. Surveys show that most people living in urban areas consume about 20% less water than they should. Water plays a crucial role in helping your excretion system and thus plays a significant role in assisting good cholesterol in doing its work. Experts advise that those with cholesterol problems should drink 4-5 litres of water every day. Not only will this assist in reducing inflammation, but it will also improve blood flow and decrease blood vessel tension.
Oatmeal is one of the most beneficial foods for improving your cholesterol levels. It helps a person lose weight and promotes a healthy gut due to its fibre content. The fibre in oatmeal helps prevent LDL cholesterol absorption into the bloodstream. Most of it is a soluble fibre that comes in the form of beta-glucan. Studies show that consuming three grams of beta-glucan helps improve heart health.
Fruits and berries are excellent sources of dietary fibre and antioxidants and can be an excellent replacement for other harmful snacks and can thereby improve HDL levels.
The bulk of the human body’s lipids requirements are synthesised from other fats or essential elements. However, omega-3 fatty acids do not fall into this category.
Omega-3s are essential fats that the body cannot manufacture. Hence, we get it from food sources. They are an integral component of cell membranes throughout the body, determining how cell receptors in these membranes function. They serve as a source of hormones that control blood coagulation, artery wall contraction and relaxation, and inflammation. Due to this they are able to help control blood cholesterol levels.
Some of the healthy foods rich in omega3 are:
Studies suggest that green leafy vegetables like collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage bind to bile acids. The bile acid-binding capacity of the green leafy vegetables makes them effective in controlling cholesterol levels in your body. Furthermore, bile acid-binding potential also helps lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.
We are aware of green tea’s benefits as a weight loss solution. However, green tea’s catechins (an antioxidant) reduce LDL and overall cholesterol concentrations. In addition, a detailed study proves that individuals who had five cups of green tea daily were 26% less likely than non-tea drinkers to die of a heart attack or stroke.
Olive oil is rich in an anti-inflammatory compound, oleic acid. It helps boost HDL cholesterol levels and lowers the risk for heart diseases. Therefore, olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. As per research, another compound called Elenolide in olive oils helps prevent high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. You can use olive oil for salad dressing, cooking or drizzling over dishes.
The lifestyle that a person leads has massive impacts on their cholesterol balance. Hence we must be aware of things that may affect good cholesterol levels over time. Being mindful of the situation in your body is necessary as precautionary procedures have developed significantly, helping us prevent severe results.
If you lead a healthy and active lifestyle that includes a moderate amount of physical activity along with proper nutrition, it affects your HDL levels positively. Indulging in activities like alcoholism and smoking can lead to a decline in HDL levels and should be avoided as far as possible. Also, keeping yourself obese and having a healthy weight can improve good cholesterol production in your body.
Along with the things mentioned above, gender, age, and menopause may also affect cholesterol levels, varying from person to person. Also, genes may play a part in your HDL levels. For example, if your family has suffered from cholesterol issues through the years, you might be more susceptible to such problems.
Adults over the age of 20 should get their cholesterol levels checked every five years at least. It allows you and your doctor to respond sooner if your levels begin to climb. In addition, people with a family history of cholesterol issues and other lifestyle diseases should have checkups more frequently.
Saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol can elevate cholesterol levels. It is necessary to avoid them. On the other hand, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and water-soluble fibre lower cholesterol. Hence, you should incorporate them into your meals. Also, try to include a healthy amount of water intake daily to have fewer issues like bloating and indigestion.
Along with a good diet, staying fit, and maintaining an average weight for your height, can help you reduce your cardiovascular risks by lowering your chances of other contributory health issues such as obesity and diabetes. If you’re overweight, decreasing just 5 to 10% of your body weight will considerably reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Currently, millions of individuals throughout the world are suffering from cholesterol problems. Most of them aren’t even conscious of the gravity of their predicament, let alone that one exists. It is important to be aware of potentially dangerous circumstances that might lead to serious, if not fatal, consequences in the long run. It will help if you prevent cholesterol and other disorders. You must take steps to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes eating well and being physically active.
A. Regular exercise may only marginally decrease your total and LDL cholesterol levels. Still, you can combine it with a healthy eating plan. Together they frequently perform a very effective job in lowering cholesterol levels in a relatively short length of time.
A. Bananas have a good amount of fibre and are rich in potassium. They can help decrease cholesterol and blood pressure.
A. Drinking coffee won’t directly impact your cholesterol. However, it can help other factors in doing so such as decreasing your bile acids which are needed to control cholesterol levels. Hence, you should consume it in moderation.
A. Peanut butter is a heart-healthy meal ideal for people with high cholesterol. You can only consume it in recommended quantities. Eaten in excess, it might lead to artery-clogging atherosclerosis.
A. You should avoid unhealthy food items like processed fats often found in take-away and fast foods at all costs. You should also limit the consumption of coconut oil and butter. Other high cholesterol foods include full-fat dairy, red meat, baked goods and sweets.
A. Mutton has a lot of fat. However, eating it in moderation, like once or twice a month, would not create any complications. On the other hand, people who consume such red meat regularly may run into some cholesterol issues.
A. For enhanced heart health, any lean meat may be advised. However, it will help to prioritise seafood for optimal effects and favour fish such as salmon.
A. Yes, any physical activity can contribute towards better heart health. It prevents the congestion caused by bad cholesterol. In addition, it pumps up your heart rate and strengthens and increases blood circulation.