We generally eat junk food once or twice in a week (If you eat it more often, you don’t love yourself at all). It tastes so good that it gets nearly impossible for to control ourselves despite knowing the fact that it will affect our health in a negative way by increasing the level of bad cholesterol in your body. What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is the most trivial type of steroid in our body, it is a chemical compound which is needed by our body. Our body uses it as a building block for hormones like testosterone and oestrogen. 80% of the cholesterol is produced by our liver and the rest comes from dietary sources. Cholesterol is not necessarily bad for us but too much of it is undoubtedly bad for our health. So we must avoid cholesterol (bad) to keep our heart healthy.
HDL Cholesterol (Good)
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is considered as good cholesterol because it removes LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, from our arteries.
LDL Cholesterol (Bad)
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is considered as bad cholesterol because higher levels of it boost up your chances of having a heart attack as it could clog the arteries and make them less adjustable.
How To Avoid Cholesterol In Your Diet?
It is impossible to completely avoid cholesterol as 80% of cholesterol is produced by our liver and the rest comes from the food we eat. So it is crucial for us to keep cholesterol we intake from food in control as it negatively affects our health. It can affect our liver, increase the risk of heart attack, numb our legs, create a blockage in the brain etc.
There are various ways through which we can avoid cholesterol in our diet.
- To avoid cholesterol, limit the intake of saturated fat foods. Saturated fat foods are products which include animal fat such as:
- To avoid cholesterol, limit the intake of Trans fat foods. Trans fat foods take in oil, harden it and then use it in processed products such as,
- The best yet the hardest way to avoid cholesterol in your diet is to reduce the intake of fast food and fried food like fries, burgers, fried chicken, Shellfish, Seafood etc.
- Limit the intake of muffins, quick bread, cookies, cake to avoid cholesterol in your diet.
Foods That Lower Your Cholesterol
Include these foods in your diet to lower your cholesterol:
1. Brown Rice- Brown rice does not get polished and thus preserves most of its nutrients and fibre content which are removed otherwise. The high level of fibre aids in reducing cholesterol and blood sugar.
2. Broccoli- The fibre present in broccoli helps to reduce cholesterol levels.
3. Beans- Kidney beans are rich in fibre and low in fat. They help to reduce blood sugar levels and control cholesterol as well.
4. Barley- Beta-glucan is a type of fibre present in barley which helps to reduce the level of cholesterol.
5. Cinnamon- Cinnamon has various health benefits and one of them is that it helps in reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Include half a teaspoon of cinnamon in your diet daily to see the results.
6. Fenugreek seeds- Having fenugreek seeds regularly helps lower the cholesterol levels.
7. Ginger- Ginger is known to improve heart health. It not only lowers the bad cholesterol levels but also raises the levels of good cholesterol.
8. Nuts- Nuts like flax seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts are full of fibre. They are great to lower the cholesterol levels and also beneficial for the heart.
9. Green Tea- Catechin polyphenols are present in green tea which protects our heart. Drinking green tea regularly (not more than three cups a day) can help to reduce the cholesterol levels.
10. Lemons- Lemons are sodium-free, fat-free and cholesterol-free. You can include lemons while eating salad or you can make lemon juice as it is the best to avoid cholesterol. As the saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
It is very important to control cholesterol as high cholesterol levels can lead to certain health problems like heart diseases, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels etc. Undoubtedly, it is crucial to eat healthy but it is equally important to exercise. So, improve your diet, exercise regularly, and stay fit.