Popularly the idea that cholesterol is bad has spread, but in reality, it is not at all so. First of all, it is convenient to know that cholesterol is a substance of the lipid family that is found in our body naturally and serves mainly for the creation of the cell membranes of our organs as well as for the synthesis of sex hormones and those of adrenal origin.
In our body, we find two types of cholesterol: LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein). Well, LDL, or known as bad cholesterol, has the function of carrying cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. What happens when LDL levels are too high is that the excess builds up progressively in the arteries, narrowing and stiffening them. This contributes to our increased risk of cardiovascular accidents such as heart attacks. It will be necessary to monitor the levels of this cholesterol avoiding that they reach or exceed 160mg/dl.
In turn, HDL, or good cholesterol, is responsible for cleaning excess bad cholesterol from the arteries and transporting it back to the liver.
To make understanding easier, we can imagine that our arteries are a kind of pipe where bad cholesterol accumulates dirt (fat) which makes it difficult for water (blood) to pass through. This is where good cholesterol must act as a powerful plunger and remove the dirt (grease) that causes the blockage. Therefore, having high levels of this type of cholesterol will be very beneficial for our health. An ideal level is estimated to be above 35mg/dl for men and 40mg/dl for women.
Frequent testing will help us keep the levels of each type of cholesterol under control. If bad cholesterol levels are somewhat elevated, we should reconsider our diet and habits.
Steps to reduce bad cholesterol
- Doing moderate physical exercise for at least 30 minutes a day will help us eliminate excess fat from our body and improve bad cholesterol levels.
- Eat soy protein. Introducing soy protein into our diet will help reduce bad cholesterol by up to 10%. Just 25 grams a day is enough.
- Fiber. Eating fiber-rich foods such as nuts, oat bran, barley, seeds, or legumes has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol by reducing the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.
- Forget about the tobacco. In addition to seriously harming your lungs and other body organs, smoking drastically reduces levels of HDL, or good cholesterol.
- Increase your fish intake to at least three times a week because it contains Omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce triglycerides. You can also supplement your diet with dietary supplements such as Sanon Omega or MegaRed.
Maintaining a balance between good and bad cholesterol will be the best thing for your health – check them often!