Although foods that contain cholesterol are unlikely to have a significant impact on high cholesterol, foods high in saturated fat should be avoided. Cholesterol helps the body perform several important functions, including helping to make hormones and build cells. The liver makes the cholesterol that the body uses, but you can also eat foods that contain this substance.
There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). When too much LDL cholesterol builds up in the blood, plaque can form in the arteries. This can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Diet can be modified to lower blood LDL cholesterol levels. This article examines the relationship between dietary cholesterol and high levels of LDL cholesterol. It also examines how a person can lower their cholesterol levels by changing their diet. Finally, it lists foods to eat and avoid to lower cholesterol.
Dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels
High levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood can increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease (CVD). Although the liver produces cholesterol for the body, humans can also find cholesterol in the food they eat. This is called dietary cholesterol.
According to a 2019 article, health experts previously believed that high dietary cholesterol intake increases the risk of developing CVD. Until recently, public health guidelines recommended limiting dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams (mg) per day.
To lower blood cholesterol levels, reduce consumption of foods that contain saturated fat. Saturated fat affects how the liver processes cholesterol, which can increase blood LDL levels.
How can you lower your cholesterol levels through your diet?
Dietary cholesterol has little effect on blood cholesterol levels. However, some health organizations still recommend limiting dietary cholesterol to no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. Many foods high in cholesterol, such as red meat and other animal foods, also tend to be high in saturated fat. This may add to the confusion that has existed about the impact of dietary cholesterol on blood cholesterol levels.
However, good nutrition includes:
lean protein sources
Low-fat or fat-free dairy products
In general, eat more high-fiber foods like beans, oats, and vegetables. Also eat foods high in unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts or seeds.
to avoid foods
In particular, limit foods high in saturated fat. Foods high in saturated fat include:
high-fat dairy products
Bacon, sausages and other processed meats
Baked goods with a lot of butter, e.g. B. Cake
Are there specific diets to follow?
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and the Mediterranean diet are low in cholesterol.
The DASH Diet
The DASH diet aims to lower blood pressure and lower LDL cholesterol.
To follow this diet, people should strive to eat:
fat-free or low-fat dairy products
People should also avoid eating
fatty dairy products.
Mediterranean style diet
A 2022 article notes that the Mediterranean diet is the term used to describe the traditional eating habits of people living in the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean diet can help prevent stroke and heart disease. It may also reduce the following risk factors for stroke and heart disease, including:
high blood pressure
According to a 2019 review, this eating plan can also improve a person’s cardiovascular health.
People who adhere to the Mediterranean diet should eat the following:
green and leafy vegetables
a variety of legumes
Nuts, such as walnuts, pistachios, and almonds
Are Diet Changes Enough to Lower LDL Cholesterol?
Some people can use dietary changes to lower their cholesterol levels. However, diet alone is not always enough to lower cholesterol levels. In addition to making dietary changes, people should take the following steps to lower LDL cholesterol:
Avoidance or cessation of smoking, if applicable
Have lipid tests performed regularly, at least every 5 years
do sports regularly
Some people may also need medication. People who may need cholesterol medication include those who have cholesterol
Familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited condition that can lead to high LDL cholesterol.
You can help lower your cholesterol by changing your diet. However, you may need to make other changes as well, such as B. increase the amount of physical activity and, if necessary, stop smoking. Some people, e.g. However, people with diabetes or cardiovascular disease may not be able to control their cholesterol levels simply by changing their diet and lifestyle. They may need medication to better manage their condition.
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