How Dietary Management Deals with High Cholesterol Levels?

Cholesterol

Talking about cholesterol it is a wax-like fatty substance already present in our blood cells. Our body needs cholesterol to help digest food,  as the body makes cholesterol as necessary to function correctly. Cholesterol helps our body perform various tasks like making hormones and digesting fatty foods. 

It is advisable to eat dietary cholesterol as little as possible to regulate the production of cholesterol. But, if cholesterol increases in our blood, it can stick to the lining of arteries and possibly block them. Cholesterol is carried away in blood through a protein called lipoproteins. 

There are two commonly known lipoproteins- ‘low’ and ‘high’ cholesterol. Low lipoproteins are known as low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and high lipoproteins are known as high-density lipoproteins(HDL).

Role of Diet in Cholesterol Levels:

Cholesterol diet

Diet is the most essential part of body maintenance activities as everything in our body is directly or indirectly linked to the diet we follow. So, diet also impacts the rise and fall of cholesterol levels. A healthy diet promotes good cholesterol, i.e., HDL, and controls the spike of LDL. Diet plays an essential role in affecting the amount of cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream.

The human body produces enough cholesterol to support health, so consuming dietary cholesterol in higher amounts might increase the level of  LDL, which is bad cholesterol. High levels of LDL can cause plaque buildup in arteries and heart disease or stroke. 

Cholesterol from outside food is unnecessary, and some varieties of food raise LDL cholesterol. On the other hand, some foods lower the level of LDL. So, having a diet plan with foods that have sound effects on the body is crucial to maintaining a healthy body. 

Foods That Increase LDL

We live in a world full of unhealthy eating habits, even though we know how important food is in our lifestyle. Each food has its impact, so if you are healthy, you are becoming more nutritious, and if you eat unhealthy you are inviting diseases. The same happens with cholesterol levels; when you eat food that is good for maintaining low LDL levels in your body, you are assisting your body in fighting many diseases by digesting food properly. 

Some foods are not so friendly for your cholesterol level, so they are for your body. Here are the kinds of food that increase the level of LDL cholesterol in the body by maximizing bad fats:

Saturated fat

It is a type of fat that contains a high proportion of fatty acid molecules and is solid at room temperature. This is why it’s considered bad and unhealthy for our bodies. It can sit on the walls of arteries as it becomes solid at room temperature. 

Studies show that the consumption of high amounts of food with a high percentage of saturated fat increases the chances of cardiovascular diseases. Most saturated fats are found in animal foods and some plant oils. Some of the foods that contain high amounts of saturated fats are:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Ice cream
  • Coconut oil
  • Palm oil
  • Fried foods
  • Meats( pork, beef, lamb, and poultry)

Trans fat

Trans fat is the worst kind of fat to consume; it raises harmful cholesterol levels (LDL) and also reduces good cholesterol levels (HDL). Being formulated in an industrial process by adding hydrogen and vegetable oil makes it the worst fat to use in a diet. 

The food industry uses this artificially made fat to extend the shelf life of the food as it is cheap and less likely to get spoiled. Food that is not naturally produced can have adverse effects on your health and so on the cholesterol level. Trans oil can be found in many food products like:

  • Commercial baked goods (cakes, cookies, and pies)
  • Shortening
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Frozen pizza
  • Refrigerated dough
  • Fried foods( french fries, doughnuts, and fried chicken)
  • Non-dairy coffee creamer
  • Stick margarine

Foods That Decrease LDL

If some foods can increase the LDL cholesterol levels, then there are also varieties of food to control and minimize the level of bad cholesterol in your body. To lead a healthy lifestyle, include these foods in your diet to reduce the chances of getting the disease. Here are the kinds of food you should incorporate into your diet for better health:

Soluble fiber

One of the main foods that decrease LDL levels is soluble fiber. As the name suggests, these fibers are water-soluble. It easily dissolves in your body with bile and removes it from the body’s waste. Aim to consume 10-25 grams of fiber daily in your diet, or ask a professional to recommend the best for you. 

Some of the foods that have high fiber content are as follows:

  • Dried beans, lentils, and split peas.
  • Apples, blackberries, and citrus fruits.
  • Oats and oat bran.
  • Brown rice.

Unsaturated fat

Unlike saturated fat, which is solid at room temperature, unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature has good fats and aid in the betterment of health by increasing the amount of HDL in your body that is responsible for carrying LDL to the liver to flush out from the body. 

Unsaturated fat is considered best for the human body to assist in better functioning of the digestive tract and liver and promote nutrient absorption and cell growth while protecting your body.  Foods that contain a good amount of unsaturated fat are:

  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Fatty Fish
  • Certain Oils(Olive, Canola, Vegetable, Safflower, Corn, Soybean)
  • Seeds
  • Dark Chocolate

Balanced Meals

When you are trying to lower bad cholesterol levels in your body, you must eat in a balanced form with the right proportion of nutrients and vitamins. Your meal should contain a balance of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein-rich food, dairy food, and healthy fats. 

Food Rich in fiber

Eating the right amount of fiber-rich food in your daily diet helps reduce the level of bad cholesterol level and helps the body absorb nutrients from the food you consume. Fiber-rich food also helps in better digestion of good fatty acids and protein. 

Protein is quite difficult to digest, but adding a good amount of fiber with protein helps in better digestion of protein, reaping the maximum benefit to our body.

Creating an Ideal Diet Plan

Dietary management is important to manage cholesterol levels effectively. Creating an ideal diet plan can help you keep your LDL levels low.  Here are some practical tips to follow for creating a diet plan that can ideally suit your body. 

  • Seek Professional Guidance

If you want to know how to reduce cholesterol naturally, you can do so with a diet plan curated for your body type and concerns. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to diet plans. They help you in managing your food intake and exercise plans as well. 

After diagnosing your body and cholesterol level, A skilled nutritionist will perform a full body diagnostics and then only plan your diet, giving you a diet chart to follow. You can control cholesterol with a diet chart especially curated for your body. A customized diet chart guides you through your diet plan and gives you control over your body.

  • Combine with Lifestyle Changes

Combining a diet plan with lifestyle changes like moving your body as much as possible, exercising, and practicing yoga helps improve your physical health.

  • Healthier and tastier Recepies

Dieting doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your taste buds; experimenting with healthier recipes does not just enhance the taste of blunt food. A good nutritionist will provide some interesting recipes to enjoy your healthy journey. 

 

Conclusion

Dietary management is important when you want to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol level in your body. An ideal diet plan recommended by a nutritionist helps you control cholesterol with a diet chart naturally. Hence, with professional guidance, a customized diet plan, and some lifestyle changes, it is possible to get your health back on track. 

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