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When your doctor tells you, “Your cholesterol is high,” a danger light comes on automatically, though you may not be entirely sure how cholesterol can damage your arteries. We will now discover what exactly cholesterol is, what function it has in our body, and how to keep it under control.
Cholesterol is a type of lipid. It is a waxy, fatty substance, which is naturally made by our liver. It is important for the formation of cell membranes, certain hormones and vitamin D. To help transport cholesterol through the body, your liver also produces lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are particles made up of fats and egg whites. They transport cholesterol and triglycerides through the bloodstream. The two main forms of lipoprotein are low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL).
When your blood contains too much LDL cholesterol, popularly known as bad cholesterol, a condition known as high blood cholesterol develops. If left untreated, high cholesterol can lead to many health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
High cholesterol usually does not cause any immediate symptoms. Therefore, it is important to check your cholesterol level regularly. Cardiologists advise you to limit the amount of saturated fats, trans fats and sugars in your diet. They cause the liver to produce too much LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which causes deposits of fatty deposits in the arteries and causes inflammation. For this reason, cardiologists recommend avoiding trans fats altogether, as limiting limited fats to 10% (or less) of the total caloric intake.
The American Society for Cardiovascular Disease (1) recommends that saturated fats be further limited to only 5 or 6% of the total calories consumed daily.
Therefore, guidelines for a healthy diet should be as follows (2):
Cholesterol: Make sure you have as little cholesterol as possible in your diet.
Saturated fats: Limit these fats to less than 10% of the total calories you eat during the day.
Unsaturated fats: Replace saturated fats with as many unsaturated fats as possible.
Trans fat: These synthetic fats should be completely eliminated from use and diet as they are associated with causing inflammatory processes in arteries and blood fats.
Foods that contain cholesterol
Cholesterol is found in animal-based foods, including: meat, dairy products, seafood, eggs, intestines, and fat.
Cholesterol-free foods include: fruits, vegetables, nuts. This food should be as much as possible part of your daily balanced diet.
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Foods rich in highly saturated and trans fats
Foods rich in saturated and trans fats, and should be limited, include: fried foods, red meat (especially pork), pastries, cakes, dough, margarine, microwave foods, cheese, pizza, ice cream, processed meats – such as sausages, and similar foods .
Foods with unsaturated fats
Healthy unsaturated fats should be consumed every day. This diet includes foods such as: olives, peanuts, sunflowers, avocados, nuts, hazelnuts, almonds and other nuts.
Sometimes, however, adjusting the diet is not enough, but it is necessary to take medication. As the first line of defense against plaque in the arteries, it is advisable to take natural preparations.
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