A lot of the foods that you eat contain cholesterol. Though cholesterol is needed by the body for the synthesis of certain hormones, such as estrogen, cortisol, progesterone and vitamin D, too much of it can lead to morbidity. An increase in blood cholesterol levels is undeniably and unarguably strongly associated with heart diseases and stroke.
There is more to hypercholesterolism than what meets the eye. The effect of increased cholesterol intake is not just visible in your bellies, thighs or arms; rather, it is also noticeable in almost any organ of the body. High cholesterol levels pose major threats to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, the reproductive tract (especially of young women) and to the brain.
How does cholesterol affect these organs? Cholesterol, upon absorption, is brought to the liver for processing. This is then transported to other cells. However, not all of these cholesterol molecules reach their target organs - some are left behind and are deposited in the walls of the blood vessels or the passageway of blood.
When cholesterol accumulates here, the walls of the arteries thin out and eventually rupture. This then leads to a series of unfortunate events that cause cessation of blood flow. If the blood flow to the heart is obstructed, heart attack follows. Stroke occurs if this happens in the arteries of the brain.
One way to reduce one's cholesterol levels is to decrease your intake of foods that are rich in fats. Intake of a healthy food to lower cholesterol is the first step towards a better life. Here are some of the foods that can lower your blood cholesterol levels:
Probably the first food to come into your mind when you want to lose weight is oatmeal. However, the use of oatmeal is not just limited for that purpose. Several experts actually recommend this food to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. How does it help you bring down your cholesterol level?
Oatmeal is not just rich in omega-3 fatty acid, but it is also rich in fiber. Fiber is an insoluble product that promotes digestion and cholesterol excretion. Fiber naturally binds bile, which is the body's fat emulsifier. Bile is mostly composed of cholesterol; hence, when fiber and bile get excreted, cholesterol is excreted as well.
Another food to lower cholesterol is salmon. This fish, together with tuna, mackerel and sardines, is rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which is a type of unsaturated fat. You might be wondering how this type of fat can be helpful to the body when it is in fact a fat! Omega-3 is considered to be a good fat because it helps decrease blood pressure and inhibits inflammation, which is one of the underlying mechanisms of heart attack.
You might have already heard that avocados are rich in fat. So the question is, "Why is it here?" Well, just like salmon, avocado contains the good fat, which makes it a great food to lower cholesterol levels. It is rich in beta-sitosterol, a plant-based fat that prevents the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. Aside from that, avocadoes help increase the levels of your HDL, which is also called the good cholesterol.
There are still a lot more of foods that can lower your cholesterol. You just have to remember that a food that is high in fiber and high in good fats is a great food to lower cholesterol levels. Other foods that you can eat are oranges, green leafy vegetables, beans and nuts.
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