Cholesterol is an organic compound, a type of lipid found in most body tissues. It is found in the foods we eat and also circulates in our bloodstream. However, the amount of food we take influences our total levels of cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol is classified into 2 types: Low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and High-density lipoprotein (Good cholesterol). According to the database, the following are the reference values of cholesterol:
100mg to 129mg/dl – normal
160-189mg/dl – high
190mg/dl – severe
High Levels of cholesterol in the body increases the risk of heart diseases, heart strokes, chest pain, and extreme levels of cholesterol may lead to the formation of gall stones in the gallbladder.
Natural Ways to Reduce Cholesterol
Minor changes in your diet may help to improve your heart health:
1. Foods to Avoid:
a. Beware of Saturated Fats: Saturated fats are the high proportion of fatty acid molecules, these are considered to be less healthy in the diet. These fats are present in red meat, whole milk dairy products, coconut oil, and palm kernel oil.
b. Avoid Trans Fats: Trans fats raise your overall cholesterol levels. Therefore, check the labels of the food and avoid foods which contain
partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
c. Do not Take Sugars and Grains: Avoid eating sugar-loaded desserts and sauces. These leads to obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay. Avoid drinking sugar-filled soft drinks and sodas. Thus helps to lose weight.
2. Foods to Take:
a. Soluble Fiber: Try to include soluble fiber foods in your diets such as kidney beans, oatmeal, Brussels, sprouts, apples, and pears because these foods can help to reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream.
b. Whey Protein: Whey protein is high in nutritional value and one of the best source for high-quality protein. Long term use of whey protein may help to lower the cholesterol levels.
c. Eat Fruits and Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables, carrots, yellow squashes, tomatoes, strawberries, help to lower your cholesterol levels and also contains cholesterol blocking elements.
3. Increase your Physical Activity:
Exercise regularly to burn your fat, there are plenty of exercises to burn more calories than you consume. So try to work out at least 30 minutes a day regularly. If you are not comfortable with workouts, do perform physical activities like climbing stairs rather than taking a lift and play your favorite sports and games.
4. Stay Away from Smoking:
Quit smoking. Within 20 minutes of quitting the smoke, your heart rate and blood pressure recover quickly from the cigarette-induced spike.
5. Avoid Alcohol:
Do not drink alcohol or else moderate use of alcohol is also acceptable because high consumption of alcohol increases the bad cholesterol levels in the body.
Few types of research say that the use of garlic decreases belly fat and total cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
7. Herbal Products:
Fenugreek seeds, yarrow, artichoke leaf extract, and holy basil are the herbs helps to lower the cholesterol levels as well as, some spices like turmeric, ginger, and rosemary also helps in preventing coronary heart diseases.