With Hoby Brennan
Belijamkho.com – Cholesterol. You see it in almost every food package you buy but do you know what it does, what exactly is it and how much of it is safe? First, let’s look at what exactly cholesterol. Cholesterol is a sterol contrary to what everyone calls it – fat. Cholesterol contains no calories, which means the body does not benefit from it because no energy comes from eating it. So what cholesterol do anyway? This is an important part of cell membranes in the body. This is an important component of the myelin sheath which provides insulation for nerves in the brain.
Website belijamkho.com – Cholesterol is very important in the structure of cells in the central nervous system and brain. In addition, cholesterol is used by the body to make bile acids. Bile acids are necessary for proper digestion.
Cholesterol is also found in the membranes of animal cells but is not found in plants. Plant cell membranes consist mainly of fiber so if you see a food package of vegetable oil stating “no cholesterol” which is total bull since there is no cholesterol in plant to begin. Knowing that cholesterol is essential for our life and it does not mean you have to eat a lot of foods that contain it because our bodies make the right amount of cholesterol we need.
Now how come there is what we call “bad cholesterol”? To give a detailed explanation you should read. First, cholesterol enters our body through the saturated fat found in animal sources such as poultry, liver, meat, egg yolks, butter, and cheese. Once inside the body, as it travels to the liver where the body makes cholesterol. From the heart, it is transported to the body’s cells by LDL (low density lipoprotein). Now if the cell has enough cholesterol it would certainly reject the more so that excess LDL remains in the blood. Thus cholesterol is stored in the walls of arteries which causes atherosclerotic plaque. Plaque that accumulates causes arteries to become narrow and leads to the blood supply to vital organs decreases that are in your body. Which explains the “bad cholesterol.”
What about the “good cholesterol”? This is called HDL or high density lipoprotein. They act as a vacuum cleaner in the bloodstream that remove the excess cholesterol in the bloodstream and sucking along cholesterol with it. Having acted as a vacuum cleaner, HDL carries excess cholesterol back to the liver. Heart in hand converts this to bile which is then excreted into the intestine. The way your heart in your body handles cholesterol is determined largely by genetics. That’s when diet comes into play. It may be a complicated process but this helps us to understand two important things:
Any diet that increases LDL and HDL cholesterol while lowering the bad.
While diet that lowers cholesterol and increases HDL has not been good.
So allow me to give you a way to control your cholesterol intake for a healthy body for every 1% decrease in total blood cholesterol equals a 2% reduction in risk of heart attack.
Consuming less fat. Your total daily fat intake should be below 20% of your daily calories. If you consume about 2,250 calories a day then consume no more than 450 calories from fat. That would make your total daily cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams.
Consuming the right fats. Foods low in saturated fat and high in essential fatty acids is what you should include in your diet. A source such as plants and seafood are good examples. Animal sources high in saturated fat so keeping the intake to less than 10% or 7% better. Always make it a habit to check the package label for the grams of saturated fat per serving. Eat more seafood like fish that contain omega 3 fatty acids are important in lowering blood fat levels plus reduces the risk of blood clots.
Stay away from cholesterol-containing products. As mentioned above, too much cholesterol increases the bad cholesterol. Eat more plant products. Reduce animal food sources or better yet become vegetarian. Research has shown that vegetarians have reduced fat intake by 26%, thereby reducing blood cholesterol levels in just 6 weeks.
Consuming foods that lower cholesterol. Particularly plant-based foods lowers blood cholesterol and the following is a list of products of these plants:
Soy protein. Studies have shown that soy protein lowers blood cholesterol on average 32 milligrams cholesterol, LDL cholesterol at 22 milligrams and the amount of fat in 10% concentration. This increases HDL, the good cholesterol, too. Plus for soy protein is that it contains “isoflavones” which was shown to reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
Soluble fiber. Fiber acts as a broom that sweeps cholesterol out plus slows intestinal absorption of cholesterol from animal foods as well.
Nuts. Nuts, especially walnuts have been shown to lower cholesterol by 12%. This is due to a combination of fiber, vitamin E and vitamin B content of walnuts. But still, nuts are high in fat so make sure you do not eat too much.
Garlic. A clove of garlic a day can help lower cholesterol but avoid garlic powder supplements.
Alcohol. Now not only swallow a bottle! A healthy dose of alcohol only 1 to 2 drinks a day increases HDL cholesterol.
Get fit. Getting rid of excess body fat you have can increase HDL levels. Exercise will also help in increasing the levels of HDL and reduce LDL levels in the body.
Quiet. Yes, you read that correctly. Being in stress stimulates the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline, which in turn increases blood cholesterol levels. So in short, relax. Relaxed will lower your blood cholesterol levels.
Do not smoke.
If you have children then make sure they grow up with sea food and plant-based diet. They will grow up with a healthy heart and cholesterol levels.
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