Monday, March 28, 2011

How to Lower Your Cholesterol?

what is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol, a waxy substance produced by the liver and found in certain foods, is needed to make vitamin D and some hormones, build cell walls, and create bile salts that help you digest fat. Actually, your liver produces about 1,000 milligrams of cholesterol a day, enough cholesterol so that if you never touched another cheese fry, you'd be OK. But it's hard to avoid cholesterol entirely because so many foods contain it.Too much cholesterol in the body can lead to serious problems like heart disease. Many factors can contribute to high cholesterol, but the good news is there are things you can do to control them.

Effects of High Cholesterol:

High levels of LDL leads to blockage in the arteries by forming plaque, which increases the risk of a heart attack. In addition to a higher risk of heart attack, having high cholesterol also increases the risk for strokes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and an irregular heart rhythm.

Foods to restrict/avoid:

Rich pastries, doughnuts, croissant, deep fried snacks and sweets, cream, butter, ghee, mayonnaise, shrimps, liver, sausages, hamburgers, red meats, full cream milk and yogurt, kheer, condensed milk, evaporated milk, all full fat cheeses, fast foods, coconut oil, palm oil,restrict use of coconut milk, dessicated or fresh coconut.

Foods allowed:

1.Fish is a good source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids - which has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol.

2.All kinds of lentils. They contain good amount of protein but no saturated fat.

3.Oatmeal and oat bran are rich in soluble fiber, a type of fiber which lowers the bad Low Density Lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol without lowering the good High Density Lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol.

4.Choose chicken (skinned), and all kinds of fish prepared in any way but not deep fried.

5.Choose foods high in complex carbohydrates (starch and fiber).
6.Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. These wonders of nature may be one of the most powerful strategies in fighting heart disease. The increase in dietary fiber as part of a healthy diet helps lower bad LDL cholesterol.

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