One of the main cardiovascular risk factors is the increase in "bad cholesterol" in our body. Therefore, it is important to know what is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in many of the foods we eat and also in the cells of our bodies. Our bodies need some cholesterol to function normally and can make all the cholesterol they need. Cholesterol is used to make hormones and vitamin D. It also plays a role in digestion.
There are two main types of cholesterol in the body:
High-density lipoprotein or HDL. Often called good cholesterol, HDL helps remove excess cholesterol from your body.
Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL. It's bad cholesterol. It can lead to a build-up of plaque in the arteries, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
What can increase bad cholesterol, LDL
- Genetics: high cholesterol is more prone in some families.
- Age: As we age, our cholesterol levels increase.
- Medications: Certain medications can raise cholesterol levels.
- Obesity: People with high body mass indexes, who are overweight or obese, have a higher risk of high cholesterol.
- Diet: Eating large amounts of saturated fat and trans fat can raise LDL cholesterol levels.
- Inactivity: Lack of physical activity increases LDL cholesterol.
- Smoking: Tobacco products lower HDL and increase LDL. The link between smoking and high cholesterol is greater for women.
How to lower your bad or LDL cholesterol
Limit your intake of saturated fat
Saturated fats are found mainly in foods of animal origin such as meat and dairy products. Higher intake of saturated fat has been found to raise LDL cholesterol. Studies have also shown that replacing saturated fat sources with unsaturated fat can help lower LDL cholesterol levels. To help reduce your intake of saturated fat:
- Cook with vegetable oils, such as olive, sunflower, and safflower.
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like walnuts and ground flaxseed.
- Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products, such as skim milk and fat-free yogurt, or low-fat cheeses, such as feta cheese.
- Swap out butter and shortening for healthier vegetable oil options.
- Avoid trans fats - They have been found to increase LDL levels and are found in highly processed foods.
Effective foods to prevent bad cholesterol, LDL
There are some foods that have been shown to be effective in preventing LDL cholesterol. These are oats, barley and other whole grains, legumes, aubergine and okra, nuts, vegetable oils (olive oil could be highlighted), fruits such as apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits and, if necessary , fortified foods or dietary supplements with sterols, stanols and fiber can be considered as adjuvants of dietary treatment for the control of borderline or moderate hypercholesterolemia (between 200 and 249 mg / dl), always under medical advice, you can find the products you need in sites like online pharmacy. It should be known that taking them does not always solve the problem and that periodic tests should be done to check the evolution of dyslipidemia.
Physical exercise and Yoga
Physical exercise and Yoga reduce stress levels, increase good HDL cholesterol and consequently also reduce bad LDL cholesterol.
Breathing correctly is the key to controlling high cholesterol. Most people make mistakes in the process of breathing when they breathe in and retract their abdomen and when they breathe out and pull it out.The correct technique for breathing is: when you inhale, pull out the abdomen, when you breathe out, pull it in. This process should be done as slow as possible. Try to follow this pattern always.
The Bhastrika technique to breathe fast and deep helps to inhale more oxygen and improves the correct functioning of our body cells. According to Acharya Keshav Dev, the regular practice of Pranayama helps eliminate fat from the body, lowers the total amount of cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol, which prevents the formation of cholesterol acid deposits and improves the body, consumes excess fat and makes to the lighter body.