Lois has over ten years' experience in the home/herbal remedy field. She seeks to inform her readers and help them to save money.
Not all cholesterol is bad for us. As a matter of fact, we need this fatty substance in our bodies for us to live a healthy life—it is required to build and maintain membranes. If we need cholesterol, then why do we always hear negative stuff about it? It is not the cholesterol exactly that we need to be concerned about: It is the type of lipoproteins that transport the cholesterol through our bodies.
The Good and Bad Cholesterol
There are two main types of lipoproteins.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as good cholesterol. It moves the cholesterol away from the heart and arteries and sent to the liver. In the liver, cholesterol is excreted and eliminated through the large and small intestines.
The Negative Effects of Bad Cholesterol (Low-density Lipoprotein)
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), on the other hand, allows the cholesterol to build up in the arteries. Because of plaque buildup, the heart works harder to make the blood flow. This, in turn, can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, a heart attack or stroke. This is why LDL is known as bad cholesterol.
LDL Reducing Foods
The key to the diet is to eat foods that are high in HDL and low in LDL. Even if your arteries are clogged with the bad cholesterol, the good cholesterol helps remove some of the bad from the arteries. Therefore, consuming foods that increase the amounts of good cholesterol and reduce the amount of bad is the way to go.
Citrus fruits are excellent for lowering your bad cholesterol. Citrus contains pectin, which is a fiber that can lower your LDL. Fruits to include in your diet are:
- Star Fruit
Look for food that is high in monounsaturated fatty acids. While polyunsaturated fats, such as corn and sunflower oil are said to lower the bad cholesterol, it will also lower the good as well. Monounsaturated fats, such as olive and grape seed oil, will increase your amount of good cholesterol.
Include oily fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon and tuna in your diet. The fish oil also contains omega-3 fatty acids which play a key role in reducing LDL.
Fenugreek seeds are considered helpful for providing relief for many digestive issues and lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics. They also play a role in raising the amount of good cholesterol in your body!
How should you consume this magical seed? Soak a teaspoon of seeds in an eight-ounce glass of water overnight. In the morning drink the water. You can also chew the seeds.
The Mediterranean Diet
Have you ever noticed that in the Mediterranean countries that there is not a high rate of heart disease? It is said that with the high use of olive oils in these countries, the people have healthy cholesterol levels. Why not give it a try?
Foods That Are High in Fiber
A high fiber diet will help maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. This includes making sure you are eating fruits and vegetables each day. The best ones to consume are:
- Brussel Sprouts
If you do not already have a routine, including a daily exercise workout into your schedule. Exercise is an excellent way to lower LDL.
This does not mean exercising once in a while. You must exercise at least four days a week or for 30 minutes a day every day of the week. While you might not have the time or convenience to join a gym, you can exercise in your home. Doing things like walking instead of driving a car, walking up the stairs instead of using the elevator and doing basic exercises—such as crunches and squats—can help lower your LDL.
When you include more activity in your life, it's likely you will notice your levels of LDL have decreased the next time you take a blood test.
By switching your diet, including foods that are higher in monounsaturated fatty acids, and exercising, you are helping your body increase the levels of high-density lipoproteins and decreasing the levels of low-density lipoproteins. While this will take time, make sure you see your doctor so they can monitor your cholesterol through blood tests.
Red Wine and LDL
Many believe a glass of red wine does wonders for lowering LDL. A basic rule of thumb is to limit it to one glass a day if you are female and two glasses if you are male. While the occasional 3-ounce glass with your dinner isn't harmful per se, there is no scientific evidence that supports red wine lowers LDL.
- 11 foods that lower cholesterol - Harvard Health
Certain foods, such as beans, oats and whole grains, fatty fish, and fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber, can lower "bad" LDL cholesterol.…
- Cholesterol: Top foods to improve your numbers - Mayo Clinic
The foods you eat can help improve your cholesterol. Here are some top choices.
- How Fenugreek Can Help Control Blood Sugar?
Fenugreek is a plant that grows in Europe and western Asia. The leaves are edible, but it's the small brown seeds that are famous for their medicinal use.
- Is red wine actually good for your heart? - Harvard Health Blog - Harvard Health Publishing
The belief that drinking red wine offers some degree of protection from heart disease has persisted for decades, but any evidence in support of this is just observational, without any scientific proof to back it up.
- Lipid-lowering and antioxidant effects of an ethyl acetate extract of fenugreek seeds in high-choles
J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Feb 24;58(4):2116-22. doi: 10.1021/jf903186w.
- What is the Mediterranean Diet? | American Heart Association
Year after year, the Mediterranean diet comes out on top in the U.S. News and World Report annual ranking of best diets. A panel of experts judges various eating plans and popular diets on criteria including how healthy they are, how well they work a
- Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol With TLC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, December 2005
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Lois Ryan
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 16, 2019:
This is very helpful. Thanks for the information and explanations. Hearing that your good cholesterol is normal, but the bad cholesterol is high could be confusing. Glad that food and exercise can remedy that.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 14, 2019:
This is excellent information and I fortunately like the healthy foods you listed. Thank you for this information.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 14, 2019:
Nothing going gone here. Fancy foods and walking and more. I but I am thinking more stress dealing.
BILAL HASSAN from BAHAWALPUR PUNJAB PAKISTAN on December 14, 2019: