How to Reduce Cholestrol?
July 13, 2022
Cholesterol is produced in the liver and serves a variety of purposes. It, for example, aids in the flexibility of cell walls and is required to produce various hormones.
Cholesterol, like fat, does not dissolve in water. Instead, it relies on molecules known as lipoproteins to circulate in the body—these transport cholesterol, fat, and fat-soluble vitamins through your bloodstream.
Varied types of lipoproteins have different effects on health. For example, high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cause cholesterol deposits in blood vessel walls, which can contribute to heart disease. High-density lipoprotein (HDL), on the other hand, aids in the transport of cholesterol away from vessel walls and thus helps to prevent these problems.
Numerous natural methods exist for increasing HDL (good) cholesterol and decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol.
The relationship between diet and blood cholesterol
The liver creates all of the cholesterol that your body has. It combines cholesterol and fat to form very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL). As VLDL transports fat to cells throughout the body, it transforms into the denser LDL and transports cholesterol wherever needed. The liver also produces HDL, which is known as reverse cholesterol transfer.
Some lipoproteins, particularly LDL and VLDL, are vulnerable to oxidation caused by free radicals. Oxidised LDL (oxLDL) and VLDL (ox-VLDL) are considerably worse for your heart. Food businesses frequently advertise low-cholesterol products. This is because your liver produces less cholesterol when your body absorbs more cholesterol from your diet.
Your genes are essential. You may still need to take medication to get your cholesterol under control. However, your regular practice can help reduce your prescription dose and adverse effects.
Follow these guidelines to lower your cholesterol and enhance your overall health.
- Focus on monounsaturated fats
Unsaturated fats, as opposed to saturated fats, have at least one double chemical link that alters how your body uses them. On the other hand, there is only one double bond in monounsaturated fats.
Some promote a low-fat diet for weight loss; however, research on its usefulness in lowering blood cholesterol is conflicting.
According to one study, eating less fat is an efficient method of lowering blood cholesterol levels. However, researchers were concerned about the potentially detrimental effects of low-fat diets, such as reduced HDL (good cholesterol) and increased triglycerides. According to a study, monounsaturated fats may also lower cholesterol oxidation. Oxidised cholesterol can react with free radicals, contributing to artery clogging. This can result in atherosclerosis and heart disease. Therefore, monounsaturated fats are beneficial because they lower dangerous LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol and decreasing damaging oxidation.
- Use polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3s
Polyunsaturated fats have more double bonds than saturated fats, which causes them to function differently in the body. Studies have shown polyunsaturated fats to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
One study, for example, substituted saturated fats in the diets of 115 individuals with polyunsaturated fats for 8 weeks. As a result, total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels were lowered by roughly 10% by the end of the research.
Polyunsaturated fats have also been linked to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Another study altered the diets of 4,220 adults by substituting 5% of their carbohydrates with polyunsaturated fats. Their fasting insulin and blood glucose levels fell, indicating a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Avoid trans fats
Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been altered by a process known as hydrogenation. This increases the stability of the unsaturated fats in vegetable oils. The resulting trans fats are partially hydrogenated oils, as they are not entirely saturated (PHOs). They are solid at room temperature, giving items like spreads, pastries, and biscuits greater texture than unsaturated liquid oils. Trans fats are appealing to food companies because of their improved texture and shelf durability.
However, partially hydrogenated trans fats are processed in the body differently than other fats and not in a beneficial way. Trans fats raise total cholesterol and LDL while lowering good HDL.
Trans fats are often found in the following foods:
- Margarine and shortening
- Pastries and other baked goods
- Some microwaveable popcorn
- Fried fast foods
- Some pizzas
- Nondairy coffee creamer
- Eat soluble fibre
Soluble fibre is a collection of plant chemicals that dissolve in water but cannot be digested by humans. Soluble fibre, on the other hand, can be digested by the healthy bacteria that live in your intestines. This is because they actually require it for their own sustenance. According to research, these healthy bacteria, often known as probiotics, can help lower LDL levels.
Soluble fibre can also assist boost the cholesterol-lowering effects of statin medications. The benefits of soluble fibres extend to a wide range of disorders. A thorough evaluation of multiple trials discovered that high fibre intakes of both soluble and insoluble fibre lowered the risk of death by about 15% over 17 years.
Exercise is beneficial to heart health. It improves not only physical fitness and aids in the fight against obesity but also lowers harmful LDL and raises favourable HDL. While even low-intensity activity, such as walking, improves HDL, increasing the duration and intensity of your exercise increases the benefit. Aerobic activity should ideally boost the heart rate to roughly 75% of its maximum. Resistance training should be performed at 50% of one’s maximum effort.
Physical activity that raises the heart rate to 85 per cent of its maximum raises HDL while decreasing LDL. The higher the effects, the longer the duration.
- Maintain a healthy-for-you weight
Obesity and excess weight can raise your chances of acquiring high cholesterol levels. This is because each pound of extra fat creates around 10 milligrams of cholesterol every day. The good news is that decreasing weight can help lower your cholesterol levels if you are overweight.
The walnut-rich diet had the most significant impact on cholesterol levels. It reduced LDL while increasing HDL. However, the high fat, low carb group did not have the same favourable cholesterol effects as the walnut-rich diet group, which focused on polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Losing weight has a dual effect on cholesterol, decreasing detrimental LDL and raising healthy HDL. Work closely with your doctor to develop a nutrient-dense, long-term weight loss plan.
- Avoid smoking
Tobacco use raises the risk of heart disease in numerous ways. It alters the way the body processes cholesterol. Smokers’ immune cells cannot restore cholesterol from vessel walls to the bloodstream for passage to the liver.
In smokers, these defective immune cells may contribute to the rapid development of clogged arteries.
Cigarettes contain acrolein, a harmful chemical substance that can enter the bloodstream via the lungs. Scientists believe it inhibits how HDL carries cholesterol in the body, raising LDL levels and perhaps leading to heart disease.
- Use alcohol in moderation
One of today’s key health debates is the function of alcohol in giving heart-protective effects. Some study suggests that, when consumed in moderation, alcoholic beverages can raise good HDL cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease. On the other hand, some study suggests that alcohol intake guidelines be reassessed in light of its negative impact on cardiovascular health, even in little amounts.
Although the question of whether alcohol can lessen the risk of heart disease remains unanswered, everyone believes that excessive alcohol consumption affects the liver and raises the chance of dependence. Therefore, alcohol should be consumed in moderation to reap any potential cardiovascular benefits.
- Consider plant sterols and stanols
A variety of supplements show potential in terms of cholesterol management. For example, plant stanols and sterols are cholesterol substitutes. Because they mimic cholesterol, they are absorbed from the diet similarly to cholesterol. However, because their chemistry differs from human cholesterol in other ways, they do not lead to clogged arteries.
They instead lower cholesterol levels by competing with human cholesterol. When plant sterols are absorbed from the food, they replace cholesterol absorption. Plant stanols and sterols occur naturally in vegetable oils and are added to certain oils and butter replacements.
According to a research review, clinical studies reveal that ingesting 1.5-3 grams of plant sterols/stanols daily will reduce LDL levels by 7.5-12%. Furthermore, according to the researchers, consuming it with a main meal twice daily provides optimal cholesterol-lowering results.
- Try supplements
Fish oil and soluble fibre have been shown to lower cholesterol and support heart health. Another vitamin, coenzyme Q10, shows promise in terms of cholesterol reduction; however, its long-term benefits are unknown.
Cholesterol serves critical roles in the body, but it can cause clogged arteries and heart disease when it becomes too high. LDL is prone to free radical damage and is the leading cause of heart disease. By transporting cholesterol away from vessel walls and back to the liver, HDL, on the other hand, protects against heart disease. If your cholesterol is out of balance, lifestyle changes are your first line of defence.
People also ask
1. How can I lower my cholesterol very quickly?
The physicians, registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, and other experts at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami teach the 5 essential lifestyle-change methods outlined in greater detail below for fast, significant lowering of cholesterol levels, particularly LDL bad cholesterol.
- Include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Take care of your fat intake.
- Consume more plant sources for protein
2. What are the 10 best foods to lower your cholesterol?
Different foods reduce cholesterol in different ways. Some contain soluble fibre, which binds to cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive tract and pulls them out of the body before they enter circulation. Some provide polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL cholesterol. Some also contain plant sterols and stanols, which inhibit the body’s absorption of cholesterol. A few foods that can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in your body include
- Eggplants and OKra
- Vegetable oils
- Citric fruits
- Foods with sterols and stanols
- Fatty fish
3. How quickly can you reduce your cholesterol levels?
People who want to lower their cholesterol levels will likely discover that making long-term changes to their diet and lifestyle is more beneficial than attempting short cures. Lifestyle changes can sometimes reduce cholesterol levels quickly. People may see the results within a few weeks. However, if diet, lifestyle improvements, and statins do not reduce LDL cholesterol sufficiently, a person may require additional drugs. The medications usually take about 6 to 8 weeks for a person to reduce their cholesterol levels.