High Cholesterol

The Best Diet to Help You Reduce Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an important part of the body and is found in body tissue and fat. It is found in a dietary form in food of animal origin. It is also produced by the liver to a certain extent. Although cholesterol serves an important function, an excess of cholesterol is unhealthy to put it very mildly.

HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein) are the two types of cholesterol. An excess of LDL cholesterol results in deposition of plaque in our arterial walls and increases the chances of cardiovascular disease. It is the HDL cholesterol that reduces the content of LDL cholesterol in our blood. The first is good cholesterol and the second type is bad cholesterol.

When we say that a person has a high cholesterol level, we usually mean a high level of LDL or bad cholesterol. A high HDL level of cholesterol is actually a desirable situation.

A diet oriented towards reducing cholesterol in our blood should actually increase the HDL cholesterol level and reduce the LDL cholesterol level in our blood. Such a diet should contain a low level of saturated fats or trans fats and a high level of unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are found mostly in foods such as red meat, eggs, shellfish and dairy products and other foods of animal origin. In order to control our cholesterol levels we should reduce consumption of such foods.

We should also avoid highly processed, packaged or fast foods as such foods have a large amount of trans fats that according to medical research are more harmful than saturated fats. Foods containing corn oil, margarine and foods such as potato chips or French fries are foods that we should avoid completely.

On the other hand including foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as nuts, certain vegetable oils and fatty fish can actually be beneficial for our heart’s health. Omega-3 fatty acids increase the level of HDL cholesterol in our blood and help to bring down the LDL cholesterol level.

Including vegetables that are full of fiber and plant sterols can bring about a significant improvement in the cholesterol profile of our blood stream.

Apart from diet, exercise is also necessary to reduce high blood cholesterol levels.