What is cholesterol and why is it always talked about in a negative way?
Today we focus on the role of cholesterol in human health, emphasizing the reasons that make high cholesterol a problem to be monitored, given that over 40% of the average population in Italy is unfortunately forced to deal with the consequences of cholesterol high.
What to do to avoid it? Let's find out in this article the foods to avoid with cholesterol, after understanding the difference between good and bad.
We focus on nutrition but we don't stop at this: we also reveal how to solve the problem with other remedies.
How to distinguish good cholesterol from bad?
Let's start from the assumption that cholesterol is not always a negative component for our health. Indeed, it is a necessary fatty substance because it has a decisive role in the construction of cells.
In fact, the body already produces a good percentage of it on its own. The rest that is needed, however, must be integrated, but without exceeding, otherwise the levels can increase in such a way as to cause an accumulation of fat in the walls of the blood vessels and accelerate the chances of incurring diseases of the cardiovascular system.
Cholesterol is divided into two types: good and bad. Here's the difference:
- Good cholesterol (HDL extension). In this case the excess cholesterol is conducted to the liver and thus facilitates the purification of the organism.
- Bad cholesterol (LDL extension). In this case the excess cholesterol passes from the liver to the arteries and is deposited in the blood vessels.
In practice, it is necessary to obtain a balance between good and bad cholesterol in the blood. If the second is in higher quantities than the first, it means that the vessels are shrinking and it is necessary to immediately run for cover to restore the balance.
There are several factors that can help solve this problem and one of them is nutrition. So let's find out the ideal diet and foods to avoid with high cholesterol, but also those recommended to lower it.
What not to eat with high cholesterol
On the list of foods to avoid with high cholesterol are any foods that contain too much saturated fat, such as:
- Red meats and sausages. This does not mean that they should be eliminated from the diet but only that they should not be abused in case of problems with cholesterol.
- Cheeses and dairy products. Butter and lard are among the foods to avoid when you have to deal with high cholesterol! Better to consume fresh dairy products rather than aged ones.
- Frying. Any fried food is not healthy, neither for high cholesterol nor for maintaining fitness. This is why it is good practice to avoid always frying, even in the ordinary regime.
- Sugary fruit. To counteract the excess of cholesterol, the fruits to avoid are bananas and avocados, due to the exaggerated concentration of sugars and fats.
- Bakery products. Snacks, sweets and packaged products are often harmful to the body due to the excessive amount of sugar.
- Sugary and carbonated drinks. Not only foods but also drinks are included in the black list of what should be avoided with high cholesterol, especially if they are rich in sugars which are bad for any age.
After clarifying the types of foods that are not recommended, it is better to clarify further by listing the foods not to buy.
High LDL cholesterol: foods to avoid
Too much LDL cholesterol? Here's what you shouldn't eat (or cut back on) to ward off the risk of more serious problems:
- Meat: veal, beef, horse, salami, sausage, wurstel
- Dairy products: butter, lard, lard, pecorino, provola, scamorza, gorgonzola
- Fruits: bananas and avocados
- Bakery products: snacks, crackers, biscuits, rusks
- Sugary and carbonated drinks: fruit juices, tea, energy drinks
Furthermore, one must pay attention to the cooking methods and choose grill, embers, steam but not fried to cook foods such as fish, meat or vegetables in batter.
These foods help increase triglycerides and therefore bad cholesterol! What to eat to lower them? Let's now discover the precious foods to safeguard our health.
Foods that help lower cholesterol
Some foods can "burn" cholesterol: this means that in an absolutely natural way they tend to lower excess LDL cholesterol values. What types do they belong to?
- Vegetables. All vegetables are good for you, so you can eat them in quantity
- Legumes. They are good for the heart and therefore preserve it from any pathologies due to cholesterol
- Fruit: apart from bananas and avocados, fruit is always healthy and is also good for lowering bad cholesterol
- Dried fruit. Rich in omega 3, it must be replaced with snacks for tasty and healthy snacks
- Cereals: as long as they are wholemeal, you can consume all flour-based products that contain many fibers
- Lean meats. White meat is excellent for lowering cholesterol and is preferable to red meat which, on the other hand, should be consumed in moderation
- Fish. We must prefer oily fish, which is richer in omega 3
- Dairy products. As anticipated, always choose fresh products and low-fat cheeses
- Egg. They help regulate high cholesterol levels but it is always advisable not to exceed 3 or 4 eggs a week
- Olive oil and linseed oil. They act on the cardiovascular system and help regulate LDL cholesterol. They also have antioxidant effect
Ready to take notes and make the shopping list against LDL cholesterol? Check out the recommended foods!
List of recommended foods for high cholesterol
These foods that we will now list are not a cure and therefore do not eliminate the consequences of too high cholesterol, however they have the benefit of improving health by lowering even the slightest part of the percentage of LDL which is bad for the body. Here's what they are:
- Vegetables: chard, spinach, lettuce
- Legumes: beans, lentils, chickpeas
- Cereals: spelt, barley, corn, oats, rice
- Fruits: grapes, blueberries, apricots, pomegranates, oranges
- Nuts: almonds, walnuts
- White meats: chicken, turkey, rabbit
- Fish: mackerel, cod, salmon
- Dairy products: skimmed and semi-skimmed milk, cottage cheese, cottage cheese
- Olive oil
- Linseed oil
Did you know that these are foods that also help you lose weight? Simply put, you can improve your health and fitness in one step!
How to regulate cholesterol beyond nutrition
We talked at length about nutrition and its role in the supply of cholesterol to the body. But this is not the only useful way to regulate its levels and maintain balance. There are also practical ones natural supplements which provide vitamins that can help, together with a balanced diet, to feel better. Specifically we talk about:
- C vitamin, which lowers LDL levels and raises HDL levels. We also already know that it is excellent for its antioxidant action
- Vitamin E, can help reduce the risk of developing diseases involving the heart due to its antioxidant effects
- Vitamin E, which protects against free radicals.
Of course, nutrition and supplements go hand in hand with a healthy lifestyle, without excesses related to smoking and alcohol, dedicating oneself to self-care and one's health by often monitoring blood cholesterol values by performing appropriate analyzes from time to time.