Control Your Bad Cholesterol Levels with a Healthy Diet

· May 23, 2018
Did your recent results show high cholesterol levels? Watch out! Though you might not feel unhealthy, your body could be developing related diseases. Try to apply all of our recommendations to your lifestyle today to fight your high cholesterol levels.

A high cholesterol level consists in levels equal to or higher than 200 mg/dl. However, the problem becomes even more serious when levels surpass 250 mg/dl.

What causes high cholesterol? Can you control it by watching your diet?

While a large number of cases result from genetics, dietary changes are our greatest tool for regulating cholesterol levels.

 

What is cholesterol?

bad cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that we essentially need to live. In addition to forming a part of cellular membranes, it’s the precursor for several hormones, bile acids, vitamin D, as well as other essential substances.

Cholesterol mainly comes from the organs such as the liver and intestine. In addition, your body also absorbs animal-based cholesterol from your regular diet.

When cholesterol builds up in the artery walls, it inflames the area and encourages the formation of atheroma plaque. These are responsible for conditions such as aterosclerosis. Such conditions are linked to:

  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Liver and kidney problems

Also read: Natural and Simple Ways to Control Your Cholesterol

Risk factors

There are many high cholesterol cases that originate in genetics. The condition can affect various members of a given family, or parents can pass it on to their children. In such cases, the body “produces” more cholesterol than it needs. As a result, cholesterol levels become difficult to control.

Other related causes are:

  • Poor dietary habits (diet rich in saturated fats and sugar)
  • Obesity or diabietes
  • Tobacco use
  • Sedentary lifestyle

A diet for regulating cholesterol levels

Diet for regulating cholesterol levels

In order to design a proper diet for controlling cholesterol levels, we have to remember some basic factors:

  • The patient’s age,
  • His/her current state of health (if there are any other diseases),
  • The patient’s weight and possible metabolic disorders.

Keeping these factors in mind, we should base our diet on diverse and healthy foods. The nutrition that these foods provide should satisfy the body’s needs.

At the same time, the diet should limit certain animal-based products. In excess, these products can increase LDL.

Foods to avoid

  • Red meat
  • High-fat cheeses
  • Baked goods
  • Prepackaged or fried foods
  • Foods that contain hydrogenated oils or fats
  • Sugar and sweets

Recommend foods for lowering cholesterol

  • Whole grains (oats, barley, rice)
  • Legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Unsaturated fats (olive oil, avocado oil, seeds and nuts)
  • Omega 3 foods or oily fish
  • Lean meat (chicken or turkey)

Recommended menu for regulating cholesterol

Recommended menu for regulating cholesterol

There are a lot of menus out there for people who need to regulate their bad cholesterol levels. However, as we mentioned before, a diet should meet each individual’s specific requirements.

Considering that there are basic recommendations for lowering LDL, we’d like to suggest a balanced and delicious menu below.

Breakfast

  • Oats with skim milk and fruit
  • Black coffee
  • Wheat bread toast with extra-virgin olive oil and tomato slices

Mid-morning

  • Small wheat bread and canned sardine sandwich
  • Pickles
  • Toasted nuts (not fried, no salt)

Lunch

  • Lentil and brown rice salad
  • Spanish mackerel escabeche
  • A small piece of avocado

Snack

  • Natural fat-free yogurt with nuts or seeds

Dinner

  • Stir-fried or steamed vegetables
  • A veggie burger (lentil, quinoa or bean)
  • A small piece of peach (optional)

Other habits for controlling bad cholesterol (LDL)

Other habits for controlling bad cholesterol (LDL)

Diet is key for controlling bad cholesterol. However, you must also work on other habits to complement a healthy diet.

Physical exercise

Exercising regularly prevents and combats hypercholesterolemia. Getting active every day, or at least 3 times a week, reduces the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. This sort of lifestyle is linked with high LDL.

  • Walking, jogging or doing any kind of cardiovascular activity helps lower bad cholesterol.
  • Try combining these exercises with strength training.

Avoid tobacco

While using tobacco doesn’t raise LDL levels, it does effect the production of good cholesterol (HDL). As a result, interferes with the processes that help keep high cholesterol at bay.

Lose weight

In any case, a healthy diet and exercise are essential for reaching a healthy weight. We have to be disciplined and consistent to fight the harmful effects of being overweight or obese.

Did your recent results show high cholesterol levels? Watch out! Though you might not feel unhealthy, your body could be developing related diseases. Try to apply all of our recommendations to your lifestyle today to fight your high cholesterol levels.