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Nine Foods that lower cholesterol

Cholesterol is an essential substance required for normal functioning of our body, but only at its normal levels. Higher levels of cholesterol can put our body, especially the heart at great risk. Before delving in detail on what to eat and what not to, to keep cholesterol at normal levels, let us understand this substance in more detail. 

So, What exactly is Cholesterol? And How important is it for our body!

This substance is oil based substance that is found in almost all cells in our body. Since, it is waxy and oily in nature cholesterol doesn’t mix with the blood and is carried around the body by the lipoproteins to carry out the necessary functions. These lipoproteins that carry cholesterol are of two kinds - 

  • Low-density lipoprotein  or LDL - cholesterol carried by this type is known as 'bad' cholesterol
  • High-density lipoprotein  or HDL - cholesterol carried by this type is known as 'good' cholesterol

Some of the main functions of HDL Cholesterol include

  • Making up the structure of the cell walls
  • Generation of bile acids in the intestine for digestion
  • Production of vitamin D in the body, in addition to some essential steroid hormones 

With positives, Cholesterol equally brings about various kinds of ailments to the body when they are at levels away from the normal. Hence, it becomes important for us to maintain normalcy with the intake of right foods and with the inculcation of healthier lifestyle. On the other hand, the LDL or the ‘bad’ cholesterol brings about risks of various kinds, especially pertaining to the heart – artery blockages, high blood pressure, heart attacks, atherosclerosis etc.  

With regards to the food, following are the items that are well known to reduce cholesterol level while regulating its level at normal - 

  1. Garlic – Since ages, garlic has well known for its properties to prevent blood clots, protect against infections and lower blood pressure. Recent studies have suggested that Garlic is an ideal food that removes plaque/clogs across the artery walls (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14971718).
  2. Oats and Barley – Beta-glucan, a kind of fibre has the property of reducing cholesterol levels in the body. Barley and Oats has these fibres in abundant. 
  3. Brown Rice – Unpolished rice or brown rice contains fibres and nutrients (B vitamins, selenium, magnesium etc) that regulate blood cholesterol and sugar levels. 
  4. Walnuts, Cashews, and Almonds – Nuts and seeds especially the likes of Walnuts, Flax seeds, Almond, Cashews, are rich with omega -3 fatty acids, fibre, and other nutrients that are heart friendly are known to reduce the risk of heart diseases. 
  5. Green Tea – Green tea contains catechin polyphenols that aid in protecting the heart. Research and studies have shown that green tea has a great impact on lowering the LDL or the bad cholesterol.
  6. Avocado - Avocados possess considerable amounts of good fats such as oleic acid, healthy monounsaturated fat etc and fibre that enhances the levels of good cholesterol while lowering the levels of the bad one. 
  7. Fruits and Vegetables – Fiber that dissolve in water(Soluble fibers) to form a gel kind of substance are good for the body as they help bind acids and cholesterol in the intestinal tract, preventing their re-absorption into the body. This may be why soluble fiber helps in reducing cholesterol levels (and decreases the danger of heart related ailments). Fruits and Vegetables are a great source of such fiber content. 
  8. Sea Foods – Sea Foods such as salmon, sardines, tuna, herring, anchovies etc are great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids that help lower LDL cholesterol while enhance HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides.
  9. Celery - Celery is well known for its antioxidant properties. Hence it is a great supplement that can lower the risk of heart disease by preventing oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol. 

Never ignore problems related with the cholesterol levels. Make sure you consult your doctor on a regular basis to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Looking for cardiovascular expert doctors for your heart related issues? Write to us – contact@healted.com or check out our cardiovascular physicians

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