People are very conscious nowadays about their health. To maintain normal cholesterol levels, we go for healthier foods, we lessen our fat intake and we exercise as much as we can. More and more people, men and women alike, are getting concerned about their normal cholesterol levels.
To ensure normal cholesterol levels, here are cholesterol in our body that we have to be familiar with:
HDL (high density lipoprotein) – these are the good cholesterol; should be maintained over 40, if it goes beyond 60, the better. HDL prevents our arteries to clog because it aids in flushing the LDL deposits in our arteries, which makes blood flow more freely.
LDL (low density lipoprotein) – these are the bad cholesterol; it should never go beyond 130 because excess cholesterol stays in the blood and deposits themselves in our veins and arteries. When these deposits build up, it may result to stroke or even death.
It is easy to maintain normal cholesterol levels, we must be aware and knowledgeable on what kinds of food lower cholesterol level:
High-fiber foods – soluble fiber helps trim down the cholesterol in our blood; eating a variety of fruits and vegetable will supply us with the fiber we need to maintain normal cholesterol levels. Apples, oatmeal, bananas, prunes are high fiber foods.
Omega 3 fatty acids – this is mostly found in fatty fishes which has high levels of omega 3. Fishes like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring will help you to have normal cholesterol levels. Try baking or grilling your fishes to make it healthier; there are also omega 3 fish oil supplements available if eating fish is not for you.
Flax seed / flax seed oil – also a great source of omega 3 fatty acid, this is your alternative to fish oils. Flax seeds can be mixed with your baked goodies.
Whole grains, Oats, Fruits & vegetables – these foods lower cholesterol because of their soluble fiber content; eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to get other valuable vitamins and minerals aside from the fiber that they provide.
Nuts – nuts are healthy because they are high in unsaturated fats; the fats that help lower total cholesterol count and ll levels. Nuts like pecan, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts and walnuts are among those that are high in unsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. If possible, eat plain nuts; not sugar-coated or salted.
Vegetable Oils – they lower cholesterol levels because of phytosterol, which help block our intestines from absorbing LDL. Examples of vegetable oil include canola, sunflower, olive, and safflower oils.
Soy & Soybean products – also lowers cholesterol in the body; soy bean products like tofu, bean curd and soy milk are good sources of protein; they can be great alternatives to meat without the fat.
Normal cholesterol levels can be achieved by eating a balanced diet, combination of foods from all the food groups, couple with a healthy lifestyle; minimal alcohol intake, regulated caffeine and smoking, if these products cannot be avoided. With regular exercise and rest and sleep, normal cholesterol levels can be easily managed.