Cholesterol Advice

Striking a Balance between Good and Bad Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance that is manufactured by the liver and present in a dietary form in certain types of foods. Cholesterol is used to form cell membranes, secretion of certain hormones and other bodily functions. It is an essential part of the human body. Whatever cholesterol that is required by the body is essentially produced by the body and very little is required from external sources.

An excess of LDL is a risk factor and may increase the risk of coronary heart disease. That is why we should reduce the consumption of foods that contribute to the increase of LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol. On the other hand we change our dietary profile and include foods that result in the increased production of HDL cholesterol within our body.

In order to reduce LDL cholesterol we need to reduce consumption of meat, dairy products and certain types of shellfish. Poultry contains cholesterol to a lesser extent that meat, so we can substitute meat for poultry. Fish contains essential Omega-3 fatty acids that help to lower the cholesterol level in our blood.

Certain vegetables oil such as olive and sunflower oil contains a high level of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats besides antioxidants. The fat in olive oil is considered to be healthy fat as it helps to reduce LDL and increase HDL cholesterol.

Plant sterols and stanols are a group of substances that are found in nuts, seeds, legumes vegetables and fruit. Consumption of such foods according to research helps to lower the LDL cholesterol levels by as much as 14 percent.

By changing our diet we can effectively bring about a balance between the HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels in our body. Increasing the consumption of plant based foods and decreasing the consumption of animal based foods is the first step necessary for bringing about this balance.