A hearts main function is to pump blood to all parts of the body and without the vital function that it does, we would cease to exist. Therefore, it is a necessity for us to take care of this vital organ and prevent heart diseases that may occur if the heart does not function properly. While this section deals with low cholesterol diet which will help you to reduce your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a waxy and oily substance that does not mix with the blood and thus is transported around the body with the help of lipoproteins. The lipoproteins are of two types which are the high density lipoproteins (HDL) and the low density lipoproteins (LDL). The HDL is termed as the “good cholesterol” while the LDL is thought to be the “bad cholesterol”. The high levels of cholesterol are one of the biggest enemies of the heart as it can in the worst condition cause cardiac arrest and ultimately death.
Cholesterol plaques are formed inside the walls of the arteries which cause obstruction to the blood flow to heart and organs. This is caused due to the LDL can reduce the uptake of cholesterol by the cells and thus it remains in the circulation and ultimately in high levels ends up clogging the arteries. This also affects blood pressure levels and elasticity of the valves of the blood vessels. Thus, it leads to a number of heart diseases and can lead to death. While the HDL plays a role in removing the LDL and transports it to the liver and itself acts in maintaining the inner walls of the blood vessels. In order to prevent clogging, a low cholesterol diet is necessary for healthy as well as unhealthy people. It is also necessary to know the causes of cholesterol imbalance in the body.
Causes Of High Cholesterol Levels
- Diet: As in most of the cases, the main reason for high cholesterol is the poor diet. Eating saturated and Trans fat are the main reason to boost cholesterol levels. In order to bring normal cholesterol levels (which is below 200mg per dl), it’s important that you limit the amounts of fatty meats, egg yolks, dairy products, deep-fried and baked foods.
- Obesity: Obesity can put you in a great risk of heart problems due to cholesterol. Check your body mass index and if it is above 30 you may at risk.
- Exercise: Exercise is the great solution to being healthy and it is also a key to lower cholesterol. People who live a sedentary life and do not exercise tend to have a risk of getting high cholesterol.
- Diabetes: People suffering from type 1 or type 2 Diabetes are unfortunately at greater risk as compared to the others for cholesterol problems. So it is important that they do not overlook foods containing high levels of unhealthy fats.
- Smoking: People addicted to smoking may lower the HDL cholesterol. Smoking also causes damages to the walls of the arteries.
Complications Due To High Cholesterol
Atherosclerosis is the main problem that occurs with a high cholesterol diet. This means that cholesterol is deposited at the inner walls of the arteries and therefore obstructing blood flow. It can cause chest pains due to narrowing of blood vessels, heart attacks because of formation of blood clot in the arteries and a stroke which is caused due to obstruction of blood flow to the brain due to a blood clot. Foods that lower cholesterol can help prevent these fatal tragedies and also if you are suffering from cholesterol levels; with your doctor’s recommendation you can improve by eating low cholesterol diet.
Low Cholesterol Diet For A Healthy Heart
Plants usually do not contain cholesterol so using them in your diet can help you benefit in lowering it. HDL cholesterol is needed in your diet so it’s best to choose foods that have this type of cholesterol or total low cholesterol diet.
- Avocado: Avocados can reduce the LDL levels as it is a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids. This means that it is rich in HDL so it can reduce the LDL cholesterol levels. As obesity can also increase the risk of high cholesterol, avocados are known for inducing weight loss.
- Nuts: When it comes to walnuts, almonds, pecans and more they are great to consider as foods to lower cholesterol. This is because they have high amount of monounsaturated as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids. That means that have HDL that can help lower cholesterol. Although, note that they are high in calories so make sure that you don’t eat a lot in order to prevent too much weight gain.
- Fish: Fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and others have good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help to prevent blood clots and lower blood pressure. Thus, it can help reduce the risk of heart attacks or cardiac arrests. It also helps in reducing weight and thus is considered in the low cholesterol diet
- Dark Chocolate: Yes! You’ve heard it right. Dark chocolate is great for food to reduce cholesterol. It has antioxidants that help to prevent blood platelets from sticking together and thus ultimately preventing clogging of arteries.
- Soy: Soy has phytates and isoflavones that help to lower cholesterol. It also helps to substitute saturated fats that later are made into cholesterol. Soyabeans are great cholesterol lowering foods.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is used in cooking and on salad dressings. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids thus, that means it produces HDL cholesterol. So it would be a good idea to use it in large amounts.
- Sterols & Stanols: Plants are a good source of sterols and stanols that have the ability to absorb cholesterol from food and thus they are being used commercially in different foods. This helps in reducing LDL levels and thus can be used for a low cholesterol diet planning.
- Fruits: Fruits like strawberries, lemons, oranges, apples, and grapes are low cholesterol foods. They have a compound know as Pectin. Pectin is a soluble fiber and is good lowering the LDL levels in the body.
- Spinach: Spinach has a yellow pigment which is known as lutein. Lutein is known for removing cholesterol from the artery walls and thus helps to prevent clogging. This helps largely in prevent sudden cardiac arrests.
- Green Tea: Green tea is rich in antioxidants that can help in removing the LDL cholesterol. In this way it helps to remove the bad cholesterol and prevent heart risks.
Other Ways To Decrease Cholesterol
- Limit Consumption Of Alcohol: Heavy drinking of alcohol leads to large amounts of sugars in the body that can damage the arteries and cause serious heart conditions like high blood pressure, cardiac arrest and stroke. However, moderate consumption leads to the formation of HDL that will highly benefit the body.
- Exercise: Exercising daily or most of the week can lead to normal cholesterol levels. This is done so by physical activity and thus causing it to reduce the LDL levels. No exercise leads to weight gain and also obesity which leads to increase in cholesterol levels.
- Avoid Smoking: Cigarettes damages inner walls of the arteries, increases blood pressure and reduces the HDL cholesterol. This can have serious heart risks and may lead to sudden death. After just 20 minutes of quitting smoking completely, the heart rate decreases and blood pressure decreases. Continuing to do so, will gradually decrease the heart risks as compared to that of a smoker.
So, try to change your diet and also below mentioned tips to decrease your cholesterol levels in addition with cholesterol lowering diet. These things will not only positively affect you but also the people around you.