Cholesterol: 5 types of foods to combat it

Cholesterol: 5 types of foods to combat it

THE ESSENTIAL

  • LDL cholesterol, known as “bad cholesterol,” can be harmful to your health.
  • A healthy diet can reduce bad cholesterol levels and therefore reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance found naturally in our body. Contrary to popular belief, it is essential for our health. As such, it contributes to the construction of cell membranes, in particular nerve cells and the brain, it is also necessary for the production of various hormones and vitamin D. For this it must be of good quality and not exceed a certain level, low penalty of increased cardiovascular risk.

Cardiovascular risk increases with “bad” cholesterol

There are two forms of cholesterol: “HDL cholesterol”, called “good cholesterol”, which has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular disease, and “LDL cholesterol”, also known as “bad cholesterol”, which promotes the accumulation of deposits in the body. artery walls (atherosclerosis). It is this LDL cholesterol that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease: over time, these deposits lead to the aggregation of blood platelets, forming a clot. Fibrous scarring then occurs. As ulceration-healing periods progress, atherosclerotic plaque thickens, absorbs cholesterol and narrows the lumen of the artery, which can then become clogged, causing a myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke. Bad cholesterol can also clog an artery in the legs, intestines, or kidneys.

If a diet high in cholesterol and animal fats (butter, fatty meats, cheese, etc.) increases the level of LDL cholesterol, this level can be reduced by adopting a healthy diet. We can even fight bad cholesterol with certain foods. Update on these food families.

Foods rich in fiber help control blood cholesterol

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains (wheat germ, barley, oats, brown rice, rye…), nuts (figs, prunes…) and legumes (chickpeas, broad beans, white beans, lentils…) are perfect sources of soluble fiber (to control blood cholesterol levels) or insoluble (to cleanse the intestines and prevent constipation). The soluble fibers present in these foods reduce the absorption of fats and provide a feeling of satiety.

Protect arteries with antioxidant foods

Fresh fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of antioxidants because they contain vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, carotenoids, and polyphenols, which protect artery walls by reducing or preventing the oxidation of cholesterol. To lower bad cholesterol, carrots, spinach, fennel, green cabbage, chard, apricots, as well as peppers, lemons, kiwis, lychees and strawberries should be favored. Nuts and dried beans are also excellent sources of antioxidants.

Sources of omega-3 and 9 to fight against excess LDL

Omega-3 and 9 help fight excess LDL cholesterol. They are found in the “good” fats of seasoning oils (olive, rapeseed, walnuts, sesame, etc.), certain fruits and vegetables (avocado, lettuce, cabbage) and fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines… . .) or oleaginous fruits such as almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts.

Choose foods low in saturated fatty acids

Foods low in saturated fatty acids, essential for a balanced diet, help keep bad cholesterol levels low. These are mainly low-fat dairy products (natural yogurt, goat or sheep cheese) as well as lean meats. To preserve its qualities, it is better to choose cooking without adding fat: steam, aluminum foil, wok, grill…


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