7 Foods that lower cholesterol – An unhealthy cholesterol level is as a result of bad diets and habits. Reduce your cholesterol level with these natural foods
Cholesterol is a white fatty substance (lipid) found to be present naturally in all the cells and tissues of the body, brain, nerves, skin, liver, etc. It is also found in some animal-based foods. Like other fats and oils, cholesterol does not dissolve in water. It is essential to life because it is used as the building blocks in the synthesis of many reproductive, growth, and stress-relieving hormones, vitamin D, bile salt, which the body uses to emulsify fats. Cholesterol is transported to and from the cells by carrier-proteins called lipoproteins, which are classified as Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDH or “bad cholesterol”) and High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL or “good cholesterol”).
Elevated or high cholesterol level in the blood promotes the medical conditions known as atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis (that is, hardening or narrowing of the arteries). High cholesterol is a silent killer. A huge percentage of adults in Nigeria, like most countries, have high cholesterol due to unhealthy diets and habits passed on for generations and consumption of too much trans-fat is largely to blame. High cholesterol is a key factor in developing heart disease, which claims three times more lives than breast cancer and twice as many as lung cancer. High blood cholesterol is usually asymptomatic; that is, the body will show no sign or symptoms that will indicate hypercholesterolemia. So, it is recommended that every adult over the age of 45 should check his or her lipid profiles annually.
7 Foods that lower cholesterol
Foods that help lower and maintain blood cholesterol levels include:
- Drink plenty of water
- Whole grains (100%) which include wheat, rice, corn, millet, oat, cereal, guinea corn, etc.
- Legumes such as beans, peas, soya beans, etc.
- Nuts and seeds
- Fresh fruits such as citrus fruits (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit etc), pineapple, pawpaw, guava, apples, avocado, purple grapes, etc.
- Fresh vegetables such as pumpkins, carrot, garlic, onions, cucumber, cabbage, lettuce, greens, green and red pepper, tomatoes, garden egg, waterleaf, spinach, etc.
- Oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, sesame oil, etc.
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Foods that are high in cholesterol level
Avoid these foods that are high in cholesterol
- Red meat
- Processed meat
- Animal fats & oils
- Hamburgers and fast foods
- Egg yolk
- Refined, tinned, and processed foods
- Alcoholic beverages
- Cigarette smoking
While these foods help you stay healthy, it does not stop the need to see your doctor or health-care provider.