Cholesterol is a steroid lipid (fat) found in the blood and is necessary for proper functioning of cell membranes . In our body two types of cholesterol are found HDL (high density lipoprotein )and LDL (low density lipoprotein) . HDL is good and essential for our body while LDL is bad for our body.
How high cholesterol affects our body :- High cholesterol can cause fats deposits on inner walls of arteries and blood vessels . This restricts the movement of blood , causing high blood pressure. This can lead to heart attack or strokes.
If you are worried about getting a handle on your high cholesterol level or maintaining your current healthy levels , its natural to think about which foods you should ban from your diet once and for all. Yet studies shows that diet and lifestyle changes can be as or even more powerful than many drugs. You can begin to reduce your bad LDL cholesterol naturally by making a few simple changes in your diet. So to increase HDL in your body follow this type of diet:
Flax seeds :-
These seeds are rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. The regular use of flax seeds is said to prevent the atherosclerosis(deposition of fats in arteries). It must be ground prior to ingestion or it would not work.
How to enjoy it - Sprinkle ground flax seeds on hot or cold cereals, vegetables etc.
Oats are rich source of soluble fiber and a compound called beta glucan. These act together to bring down the level of cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in kidneys, apples, pears barley etc.
Fish are rich source of omega 3 fatty acids which help to reduce LDL cholesterol.
Such as almonds ,walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fats ,thus preventing heart disease.
These help to increase the level of HDL and reduce the level of LDL.
Dark and bitter sweet type of chocolates have many antioxidants other than milk chocolates.
Methi (Fenugreek) seeds have steroidal saponin which help to reduce the absorption of cholesterol.
These foods are low in count of saturated food .This helps reduce cholesterol .You can include soya nuts ,tofu, soya beans in your diet.
Fruits and vegetables are low in saturated fats . So eat lot of fruits and vegetables regularly.
It is a rich source of antioxidants and thus lowers the LDL. But it is high in calories, so do not eat more than 2 tbs of oil per day.
It is a rich source of lutein which helps in lowering the cholesterol . Start eating more spinach ; you will start seeing your cholesterol numbers drop. ½ cup of it in a day is enough.
Both green tea and black tea have high antioxidants . 1 cup of tea must be taken every day.
Note :- Limit your saturated and trans fats which is found in meat, butter, cheese and some oils. Trans fats are generally used in cookies, cakes, pastries etc, so avoid these things. Studies confirm that moderate intensity activity or exercise on an almost daily basis can reduce cholesterol levels 10 to 20% . It also boosts level of HDL.`
So , don't wait untill it's too late... Just start today and rather now......All the best !!!!!
Dr. Suman Setia ( BAMS, PGDHHM, DNHE)