Eating correctly is one of the most important things we must do to maintain good health, but despite this, there are a lot of delicious foods that we love to consume and that tend to go against this goal. The most negative foods for our health are those that have high cholesterol levels, so if you are one of the many people who are beginning to worry about being healthy.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance (lipid) found in some foods, but which in turn is produced by the liver.
We always hear about how bad cholesterol is and how it negatively affects our health. But, despite this, not everyone knows exactly what the function of this substance is. To begin, it is necessary to understand that there are two types of cholesterol:
- Bad cholesterol:known as LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein. This cholesterol is used by the body to produce Vitamin D, estrogen, testosterone and other vital components. When LDL cholesterol is in excess, it is deposited in the walls of the arteries, causing the formation of plaques that cause blockages in the bloodstream, causing heart attacks or strokes.
- Good cholesterol:known as HDL or high intensity lipoprotein (High Density Lipoprotein). Its function is to bring LDL cholesterol to the liver so that the latter is eliminated.
Modifying your diet, starting to eat foods low in cholesterol and high in fiber, will have a great impact on reducing bad cholesterol in your body.
One of these foods low in cholesterol and that has a composition in unsaturated fats and fibers is oats. This cereal provides an effect of absorption of bad cholesterol in the intestine (thanks to fiber), allowing it to be eliminated in the stool and not saturate the body.
The best way to consume oatmeal is in flakes, combined with fruits, milk or yogurt.
Like oatmeal, barley also has a composition of soluble fibers, which together with a type of vitamin E, which has an excellent antioxidant effect, causes a very beneficial “ anti- cholesterol” effect for the body.
The best way to consume this cereal is to cook it like rice, although it costs a little more to cook. Other recommendations to eat it is sautéing it with vegetables, rice, zucchini, in soups or with fish.
Eating soybeans, either in the form of a legume or as an oil, is very beneficial for the body, and among other things, cholesterol is reduced thanks to its content in linoleic and oleic acids. Soy consumption causes an antioxidant activity on LDL cholesterol, contributing to its decrease.
This food can be consumed stewed or boiled, in drinks, in the popular soy sauce, seitan, or also known as “vegetable meat”, and as a seasoning in soups or creams.
Within this category of food we can find: nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts and sesame seeds. The nuts have an excellent supply of alpha-linolenic acid, to which the body becomes omega-3, which in turn causes a reduction in cholesterol.
There are many ways to consume nuts, for example you can add them in salads, as companions in rice dishes or pasta and without forgetting its use as ingredients of muffins or biscuits.
Several components of legumes called phytochemicals have the ability to reduce cholesterol, preventing the formation of layers that block blood flow and thus cause cardiovascular disease.
In addition to having fibers, legumes have another component known as saponins, which has the ability to decrease the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract. Legumes are usually consumed in salads, creams, soups, hummus or side dishes for fish and meat.
Within this category of foods that reduce cholesterol, the most prominent is olive oil, since it has monounsaturated fatty acids, oleic oils and vitamin E, which collaborate to achieve cholesterol absorption and elimination within the digestive process.
The best way to consume vegetable oils is by adding them in vegetable salads or accompanying toast at breakfast.
The eggplant is a plant that has a high fiber content, which slows the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine, while promoting the production of bile acids that eliminate cholesterol.
Eggplants can be consumed in various ways, either raw or cooked, in salads or dehydrated, in addition to being used as ingredients to make delicious breaded dishes.
Fish meat has excellent contributions of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are widely recognized for their ability to reduce triglycerides, thus favoring blood vessel dilation, reducing the risk of thrombosis and protecting the body of all types of cardiovascular diseases. This in turn has a leveling effect between LDL and HDL cholesterol.
The best way to consume blue fish is to do it 2 to 3 times a week, being able to interleave sardines, anchovies, salmon, bonito, anchovies, tuna or green.
Foods that raise cholesterol
Unlike the foods listed above, there are others that cause an opposite effect, increasing the levels of bad cholesterol in the body and that, if you already have high levels of this substance in your body, it is better to avoid them.
- One of these foods that we should avoid are fats, such as butter or butter, bacon, bacon or solid margarines.
- Avoid all those sausages such as cold cuts or sausages, as well as meats such as hamburgers, kidneys, liver, duck or goose, since they all have high levels of bad cholesterol.
- Whole milk, milk creams, ice cream, cheeses and yogurts that are not skimmed have a high presence of cholesterol.
- Avoid consuming the egg yolk, since that is where the highest cholesterol and egg fat content is found.
- Do not consume products derived from breads that contain fats, eggs or whole milk, sweet buns or fritters.
- Fruits such as coconut, has a high degree of saturated fatty acids, which causes them to increase your cholesterol levels when consumed.
- Do not consume desserts with chocolate or peanut butter.
- In the case of condiments, it is advisable to stop consuming mayonnaise, as it contains eggs.
- Finally, it is important to pay attention to your beverage intake, trying to avoid the consumption of those alcoholic concoctions or limiting the consumption of beers or wine to only one glass or glass per day.