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High cholesterol levels affect 39% of the world’s population and cause 4.4 million deaths yearly

Sounds pretty scary, right? But you can monitor and balance your cholesterol levels with the proper diet. 

This article covers the following:

What is Cholesterol?

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Cholesterol is a fatty matter the body produces to create the outer lining of cells. You need structurally sound cells to make hormones and balance your metabolism. However, a modern-day diet has increased cholesterol levels over the past few decades.  

There are two types of cholesterol:

What Happens if Cholesterol is Too High?

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If cholesterol levels exceed the recommended amount (below 200 mg/dl), the fatty substance will build up, clogging the arteries. If this happens, you risk heart disease or an attack. 

One person dies of heart disease every three minutes in the UK alone. 

Does Fat Raise Cholesterol Levels?

You may have heard you increase cholesterol levels if you eat fat. However, that is not strictly true. The sugar industry manipulated studies to demonise fat in the 1960s. Unfortunately, high-glucose levels have led to many health conditions. 

There are four types of fat (saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans fats). Saturated and trans fats are in processed foods and negatively impact your health.

FAQs

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How can I lower my cholesterol level quickly?

You can reduce your cholesterol quickly by increasing fruit and veggies, consuming plant-based protein, and gently exercising.

Are eggs bad for cholesterol?

Although eggs are high in cholesterol levels, there is no clear link between eggs and an increase in cholesterol. They are nutrient-dense foods with high levels of protein and do not have the same impact on poor health as transfat (such as frozen pizzas). However, if you are unsure, then stick to other recommended foods.

Do bananas lower cholesterol?

Yes, bananas are a great source of soluble fibre, which helps lower cholesterol levels. The fibre molecules attach themselves to the intestine and effectively ‘catch’ bad cholesterol, stopping it from travelling around the rest of your body. 

Top Foods to Lower Your Cholesterol Levels

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  1. Oily Fish

Oily fish is rich in omega-3, which are fatty acids. It works by decreasing triglyceride (constructed of fat and glucose) to a healthy level. Triglyceride lines the intestine and is essential for energy, but extremely high levels block arteries and increase your risk of medical conditions. 

How to add oily fish to your diet

Tuna, salmon, and trout are great options as they are the highest in omega-3.

2. Avacado

Avocado is a type of fruit high in fibre and contains unsaturated fats. A scientific study shows that one avocado daily increases ‘good’ cholesterol. While this is excellent news, it’s critical to remember that the food does not necessarily decrease ‘bad’ cholesterol, so you must consume it along with other healthy foods.

How to add avocado to your diet

3 . Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds attach themselves to bile containing cholesterol, stopping it from reaching your bloodstream. Instead, your body removes cholesterol via your faeces. However, ensure you only eat nuts and seeds in moderation as too many may take you over the daily calorie intake.

As a rule of thumb, stick to a small handful to manage your weight and protect your body.

How to add nuts and seeds to your diet

4. Legumes (Beans, Lentils, and Peas)

Legumes are an excellent source of fibre that binds to cholesterol, stopping it from transporting around the body and causing blood clots. Try consuming them at least twice a week, but more if you can.

How to add legumes to your diet

5. Plain Non-Fat Yoghurt

Yoghurt is a probiotic (good bacteria that grows in your gut). A sufficient amount of probiotics lowers cholesterol levels and prevents inflammation (say goodbye to bloating). 

A 2012 UK study found that two servings of probiotics per day decreased ‘bad cholesterol, known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL). 

How to add yoghurt to your diet

6. Olive Oil

Throw out that vegetable oil (especially the one calorie per spray) because olive oil is a winner for cooking. It’s the juice of olives (a fruit), so the process is very different to most oils.

Olive oil contains around 75% of monounsaturated fats (one of the good fats) and raises your ‘good’ cholesterol.

How to add olive oil into your diet

7. Whey Protein

Whey protein is a powder made of the leftover liquid from processed dairy. It includes a substance called lactoferrin (a protein).

A 2010 study suggests that lactoferrin stops low-density lipoprotein (LDL) from solidifying in the bloodstream.

How to add whey protein into your diet

8. Brown Pasta, Rice and Bread

Whole grains are perfect for you, but many people choose to avoid them because they are carbs. It’s essential to have a healthy balance of good fats, carbs, and fibre – so eating pasta every day isn’t ideal. However, whole grains are critical for lower cholesterol levels.

They are incredibly high in fibre, which once again blocks ‘bad’ cholesterol from wreaking havoc in your arteries. Oats are also a type of whole grain. However, they have their section (see below) because they’re so good for you.

How to add whole grains to your diet

9. Oats

Oats are an incredible source of soluble fibre (and they taste good). Scientists have known for fifty years that oats reduce type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

How to add oats to your diet

10. Dark Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale and broccoli are other fibre food sources that stop bad cholesterol from building up. They’re also great anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants.

How to add leafy greens into your diet

Best Blood Test for Cholesterol Levels

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We recommend taking the Goodbody Wellness Cholesterol Blood Test. It measures triglycerides, HDL and LDL to see if you are at risk of heat conditions, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Right Foods to Are Critical to Lower Cholesterol

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Managing your cholesterol levels reduces the risk of serious medical complications so you can live a happy, healthy lifestyle. Implement these top ten foods and take our blood tests to keep track.

Want a healthier lifestyle? Order a Cholesterol Blood Test today.

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References

 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315900

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/13/493739074/50-years-ago-sugar-industry-quietly-paid-scientists-to-point-blame-at-fat

 

https://world-heart-federation.org/what-we-do/cholesterol/

 

https://www.bhf.org.uk/what-we-do/news-from-the-bhf/contact-the-press-office/facts-and-figures#:~:text=Heart%20and%20circulatory%20diseases%20cause,men%20and%203.6%20million%20women.

 

https://www.heartuk.org.uk/cholesterol/triglycerides

 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/expert-answers/cholesterol/faq-20058468

 

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/JAHA.114.001355

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161007085247.htm#:~:text=2-,Eating%20oats%20can%20lower%20cholesterol%20as%20measured,variety%20of%20markers%2C%20review%20suggests&text=Summary%3A,risk%20of%20developing%20cardiovascular%20disease.

 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22067612/

 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/nutrition/is-extra-virgin-olive-oil-extra-healthy

 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19893505/