When we hear about cholesterol, it is often associated with being a threat to our health. However, cholesterol is not as simple as that. To better understand cholesterol and its effect on our health we can think of it as a thrilling action movie where there is both a villain and a hero. The villain in this case LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins) and this villain is trying to take over your heart health by creating a build-up of plaque in your arteries. Meanwhile, the hero of this thriller is HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins) and this type of cholesterol is working hard to prevent the damage by moving the bad cholesterol back to the liver where it can be disposed of.
The main risks associated with an evil plot in which the LDL cholesterol villain takes over is clogged arteries, which can lead to a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, coronary artery disease (less oxygen supply to the heart), and other heart diseases.
So in order to prevent those issues, we will talk about ways to manage healthy cholesterol levels through the use of diet. If done early enough, this will help you gain control over your heart health without needing to spend hundreds of dollars on medications, and without needing to manage the many unpleasant side effects that come alongside the use of medications.
Choose Healthier Fats
Saturated fat is the villain’s accomplice; it raises your LDL levels more than any other component of your diet. The other unhealthy fat is trans fat (it both increases your LDL and lowers your HDL). These fats are often found in margarine, deep fried foods, and high fat animal products like certain meats and dairy items.
On the contrary, unsaturated fats found in lean meats, nuts, olive oil, and etc. can be much more beneficial to managing healthy cholesterol levels.
Consume More Soluble Fibre
Foods high in soluble fibre play an important role in decreasing LDL levels; they prevent your intestines from absorbing the bad cholesterol. This means that it helps flush out any bad cholesterol that may have been consumed. Foods high in soluble fibre include whole grain cereals, beans, lentils, chick peas, and most fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables also have plant sterols, important components that help lower low density lipoproteins in the digestive tract.
Increase your Omega-3 Intake
Foods high in omega-3 are the biggest fans of your hero HDL in the action thriller screening your cholesterol level battle. Foods high in omega-3, including salmon, tuna, and mackerel, increase the HDL levels in your blood and also protect your blood vessels from clots and inflammation, ultimately reducing your risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
Although the battle of the cholesterols may not be the next Hollywood movie hit, every time you cook your meals you should consider the effect your food intake has on the balance of HDL vs. LDL cholesterol in your blood.