These Good Diet Changes That Lower Cholesterol

While foods containing dietary cholesterol are unlikely to have a significant impact on high cholesterol, foods high in saturated fat should be avoided. Cholesterol helps the body perform several important functions, including helping to produce hormones and build cells. The liver produces cholesterol, which the body uses, but you can also eat foods that contain this substance.

There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). When too much LDL cholesterol builds up in the blood, it can cause plaque to form in the arteries. This may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The diet can be modified to help lower blood levels of LDL cholesterol. This article looks at the relationship between dietary cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol. It also looks at how a person can lower their cholesterol by changing their diet. Finally, it lists foods to eat and avoid in order to lower your cholesterol levels.

Dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels

High levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Although the liver produces cholesterol for the body to use, people can also find cholesterol in the foods they eat. This is the so-called dietary cholesterol.

According to a 2019 article, health experts previously believed that high dietary cholesterol intake increased the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Until recently, public health guidelines recommended limiting dietary cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams (mg) per day.

To help lower your blood cholesterol levels, reduce your intake of foods that contain saturated fats. Saturated fats affect how the liver processes cholesterol, which can raise LDL levels in the blood.

How to Lower Cholesterol with Diet?

Dietary cholesterol has only a minor effect on blood cholesterol levels. However, some health organizations still recommend limiting dietary cholesterol intake to no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. Many foods high in dietary cholesterol, such as red meat and other animal products, are also high in saturated fat. This may contribute to the confusion that has existed until now regarding the effect of dietary cholesterol on blood cholesterol levels.

However, a good diet includes:

fruit
vegetables
vegetable oils
whole grains
seeds
lean protein sources
low-fat or fat-free dairy products
nut

In general, eat more fiber-rich foods like beans, oats, and vegetables. Also eat foods high in unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts or seeds.

Foods to Avoid

First of all, limit foods that are high in saturated fat. Foods high in saturated fat include the following:

red meat
high fat dairy products
bacon, sausages and other processed meat products
baked goods containing a lot of oil, such as cakes
sausages.

Are there any specific diets that can be followed?

The DASH diet (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) and the Mediterranean diet are low in cholesterol.

Diet DASH

The DASH diet aims to lower blood pressure and lower LDL cholesterol levels.

To follow this diet, people should aim to eat:

vegetables
whole grains
fruit
Fish
Domestic bird
beans
nut
seeds
vegetable oils
fat-free or low-fat dairy products

People should also avoid food

fat meat
sweet drinks
sweets
sodium
fatty dairy products.

mediterranean style diet

A 2022 article notes that the Mediterranean diet is a term that describes the traditional eating habits of people living in the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean diet can help prevent strokes and heart disease. It may also reduce the following risk factors for stroke and heart disease, including:

obesity
high cholesterol
high blood pressure
diabetes

According to a 2019 review, this meal plan can also improve a person’s cardiovascular health.

People on the Mediterranean diet should aim to eat:

green and leafy vegetables
a variety of legumes
nuts, such as walnuts, pistachios, and almonds
fresh fruits
whole grains
olive oil
Fish

Are Dietary Changes Enough to Lower LDL Cholesterol?

Some people may use dietary changes to lower their cholesterol levels. However, diet alone is not always enough to lower cholesterol levels. In addition to changing their diet, people should take the following steps to help lower their LDL cholesterol levels:

smoking cessation or smoking cessation, if applicable
regular lipid testing at least every 5 years
exercise regularly

Some people may also need medication. People who may need cholesterol medication include those who have

diabetes
CVD
familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited disorder that can lead to high LDL cholesterol levels.

You can help lower your cholesterol by changing your diet. However, other changes may also need to be made, such as increasing the amount of exercise and not smoking, if necessary. However, some people, such as those with diabetes or heart disease, may not be able to control their cholesterol simply by changing their diet and lifestyle. They may need medication to better control their condition.

* Presse Santé strives to communicate health knowledge in a language that is accessible to all. IN NO EVENT can the information provided be a substitute for the advice of a healthcare professional.

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