Cholesterol has several benefits. You can get from eating animal products, including meat, eggs, and dairy products. When a lot of products containing cholesterol are consumed, the liver tends to produce less of it. High intake of fats, sugar, and trans fats increases the level of cholesterol, leading to health problems. This blog discusses the best ways of lowering cholesterol.

High LDL cholesterol in the body increases the risks of various conditions, including strokes, kidney failure, clogged arteries, and heart attack. This is because high LDL leads to the alignment of cholesterol in the walls of the blood vessels. In contrast, high HDL cholesterol helps to carry cholesterol away from the walls of the blood vessels back to the liver through thereverse cholesterol transport. Eating a regulated diet of cholesterol could help you control the aforementioned risks.This article discusses different ways of regulating cholesterol with your diet.

Consume most food rich in soluble fiber

Eat enough food that contains soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is found mostly in legumes, whole grains, apples, citrus, and beans. Unlike animals, human beings lack enzymes to break down soluble fiber. It moves along the digestive tract and absorbs bile, a substance used to hydrolyze fats.  The liver produces bile from cholesterol.  When it needs to make bile, it pulls back excess cholesterol from the bloodstream, lowering its level to normal. The combination between the bile and the fiber is removed as the byproduct. Therefore, it is recommended that you eat 4 to 8g of soluble fiber in a day to reduce cholesterol in the blood.

Consume a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet

The easiest way to reduce cholesterol in the body is by eating enough vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruits have antioxidants properties that help prevent cholesterol from being oxidized to form a clog that could block the arteries. Studies show that people who ate at least four servings of fruits and vegetables per day had roughly 8% lower LDL cholesterol levels than those who ate less than two servings per day.

Focus your diet on unsaturated fats

Unsaturated fats, such as omega 3 fatty acids, have a double chemical bond that may protect the lipoprotein from being oxidized, preventing clog formation within the arteries. This increases the level of HDL cholesterol and reduces the level of LDLK cholesterol. Food rich in unsaturated fats include olives oils, sea fatty fish, avocado, and nuts.

Avoids trans fat

Artificial trans-fat is mostly used in restaurants and at homes in processed foods. This fat is made by adding hydrogen to change the structure at room temperature. It can also be found naturally from animal products such as red meat. Consuming artificial trans fatsincreases “bad” LDL cholesterol and lowers “good” HDL cholesterol. Naturally, trans-fat from animal products is not harmful but can raise LDL cholesterol in a small amount.

Use enough spices and herbs in your recipes.

Spices and herbs have a lot of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. They have antioxidants that prevent cholesterol from being oxidized, reducing the formation of plaques in the arteries. This helps to prevent a high risk of heart diseases and high blood pressure. Spices such as turmeric, clove, thyme, mint, oregano cinnamon, garlic, and ginger contribute largely in lowering cholesterol. Other beneficial herbs include marjoram, dill, and cilantro.

Increase physical exercise activity

Physical exercise helps reduce high LDL cholesterol through the stimulation of enzymes that helps transport excess LDL cholesterol back into the liver. The liver converts excess cholesterol into the bile. Exercise raises the level of HDL cholesterol by increasing the concentration of oxidized HDL lipids.

Reduce the amount of sugar intake

Consuming a lot of sugar may result in high cholesterol levels. Added sugar consumption leads to an increased level of triglycerides. Excess sugar is converted into fats in the form of triglycerides. Furthermore, fructose increases the value high oxidized LDL cholesterol particles, which leads to high risks of heart disease and blood pressure.The American Heart Association recommends eating not greater than 98 calories (24 grams) of added sugar per day for women and children and not more than 140 calories (36.5 grams) per day for men.

High consumption of soy source

Soybeans are rich in proteins and contain nutrients such asisoflavones. Isoflavones are similar to the estrogen hormone and play a vital role in the body. Isoflavones tend to reduce the level of cholesterol by increasing LDL receptors activities. By consuming soybean every day can increase the level of HDL cholesterol concentration by 1.4 mg per month.

Use cholesterol-lowering supplements

This includes niacin, psyllium, and L carnitine.

  • Psyllium contains soluble fiber; soluble fiber helps to reduce bile from the blood. This leads to more bile production from the liver resulting in low cholesterol.
  • L carnitine lowers LDL cholesterol and also reduces the oxidation of cholesterol.
  • Niacin increases the level of HDL cholesterol

The bottom line

The foods you eat may determine your overall body health. It is vital to be mindful of what you consume, including the amount. This blog has discussed the best ways of lowering cholesterol. Give them a try!

Marie Salbuvik

Dietician MS, Lund University, Sweden Nutrition plays an important role in human life. Eating habits are one of the factors that affect our health. There is often a misconception among people that nutritionists force a very restrictive diet, but that is not true. In fact, I don't ban any products, but I point out dietary mistakes and help change them by giving tips and new recipes that I've tried myself. I advise my patients not to resist change and to be purposeful. Only with willpower and determination can a good result be achieved in any area of life, including changing eating habits. When I don't work, I love to go climbing. On a Friday evening, you are most likely to find me on my couch, cuddling with my dog and watching some Netflix.