Keep High Cholesterol at Bay Through Your Diet

Learning to eat better is crucial to keep high cholesterol at bay. Do you know there's a diet formula for it? Check it out in this article!
Keep High Cholesterol at Bay Through Your Diet

Last update: 10 December, 2019

It’s important to keep high cholesterol at bay even though it’s a normal part of your body’s cells. In fact, cholesterol is actually very important for many of your physiological processes. Unfortunately, though, cholesterol becomes harmful when produced in excess.

But did you know there’s a diet formula you can follow to keep your levels stable?

Hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol, doubles your risk of a heart attack or a stroke. Thus, the most suggested strategy is to reduce your consumption of any food that’s high in cholesterol. However, considering that 90% of your blood cholesterol doesn’t come from the food you eat but from your body itself, this is a somewhat unnecessary and counterproductive action at times.

In fact, the American Society of Cardiology has discovered that 80% of people who are at high risk of cardiovascular hypercholesterolemia don’t keep control of their levels.

So, what should you eat to keep high cholesterol at bay? The secret here is to act upon endogenous synthesis.

Keep high cholesterol at bay through your diet

Don’t suppress cholesterol

Yes, you read it right. This method is precisely about doing the exact opposite of what you thought. Our body regulates cholesterol through negative feedback mechanisms. Therefore, the more cholesterol it has, the less it manufactures it. However, you can only stop endogenous production by an increase in cholesterol through your diet.

In fact, a series of processes activate to increase its production when it’s low. However, you should be careful when choosing high cholesterol food because some of them are harmful due to other reasons. Because of this, eggs are a good alternative.

Eat foods rich in omega 3 and omega 9

Sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Eating foods rich in omega 3 and 9 can help control your high cholesterol levels.

Omega-3 and Omega-9 fatty acids inhibit cholesterol production. In addition, the former also reduces the synthesis of the proteins that transport it to the arteries and helps eliminate any existing cholesterol plaques. In regards to Omega 9, you can easily obtain it through certain types of ingredients such as olive oil.

However, omega 3 oxidizes with heat and it’s very difficult to obtain it from your diet alone. So, the only way to guarantee an adequate contribution is through the intake of supplements. Make sure to choose those that guarantee proper absorption and that have a low presence of contaminants.

Reduce your consumption of high glycemic index (GI) carbs

Insulin can activate mechanisms that promote cholesterol synthesis. Therefore, it’s essential to avoid the consumption of the types of food that increase its production.

These are, fundamentally, the so-called high glycemic carbohydrates.

Eat foods that can increase high-density lipoproteins

An avocado cut in half.
Eating foods that increase high-density lipoproteins prevents cholesterol from accumulating in the arteries.

High-density proteins (HDL) aren’t a type of cholesterol (there is only one cholesterol) but act as a vehicle to move it. They appear in blood tests as “HDL cholesterol” and are colloquially known as “good cholesterol.”

The function of HDL is essential to keep your cholesterol levels at bay because. Basically, it’s responsible for transporting these proteins to regions that either use them or eliminate them. Thus, increasing your consumption of foods capable of increasing HDL levels is a fundamental measure.

Consume probiotics to keep high cholesterol at bay

Lactobacillus Reuteri is a proven, effective treatment for hypercholesterolemia. It promotes the elimination of bile salts through the intestine. When this occurs, the body increases the use of cholesterol for the formation of new salts and, therefore, reduces blood cholesterol levels.

To be effective, probiotics must contain at least 10 × 6 CFU (colony-forming units), be of human origin, and arrive and remain active in the intestine.

Overall, instead of avoiding cholesterol in your diet, you should act upon endogenous synthesis. To do so, you must reduce your consumption of the kinds of food that activate it. Also, you must increase your intake of the nutrients that can increase its transport to regions capable of either using cholesterol or eliminating it.

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  • Watanabe Y., Tatsuno I., Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for cardiovascular diseases: present, past and future. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol, 2017. 10 (8): 865-873.
  • Wu Y., Zhang Q., Ruan Z., Effect of probioti lactobacillus on lipid profile: a systematic review and meta analysis of randomized, controlled trials. PLoS One, 2017.