Cholesterol, as we all fear of it nowadays, is a toxin in our body pushing us towards a lower health standard gradually. But, are all of us really aware what Cholesterol really is?
At molecular level Cholesterol comes from the family of Alcohols (not the Whisky, but of course) that is an important building block of Animals’ and Humans’ Body and their Constituents (Microscopic & Macroscopic).
Cholesterol, in absence of a definite Cell Wall, provides Protection, Strength as well as adds to fluidity in movements to a cell in the body. It’s also a main constituent of various necessary steroids (built in body itself), Essential Hormones, Bile Acids (necessary for Digestion of Fats), and Vitamin D.
The natural and healthy synthesis of Cholesterol mainly occurs in liver (about 20%) and partly in intestines, Adrenal Glands (small Glands present over Kidneys), and the Reproductive Organs (Ovaries in Females and Testes in Males), whereas the intake in regular diet is the other main source.
Cholesterol is mainly divided into High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) considered as the good Cholesterol, the main constituent to all of the fore-spoken important body parts, and Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) the bad one, the main cause of the fatal blockages in the crucial organs leading to Cardio-Vascular Diseases, Gall Stones and other related Diseases.
Normally the synthesis and levels of Cholesterol in body is regulated by a Haemostatic Mechanism of Human Body depending upon the amount taken through diet. But high dose of dietary fat increases the risk of a misbalance of the same.
The most popular and effective ways to have an idea about your status are blood tests (a complete Lipid Profile) and Body Mass Index, also referred as BMI (an international chart that tells about the appropriate weight in relation to height and age of a person). As all of us are not willing to go for a blood test at regular interval of time and hence, the easiest way to watch over the balance of good and bad Cholesterol in the body is to maintain the standard BMI. The evident fact is that it is not that easy in the current levels of stress and chaos in life now a day. But there are practices that help in reducing the bad Cholesterol and keep it below the line naturally.
More The Weight More The LDL
The each pound of extra weight you put over increases the amount of Triglycerides (TGL) and LDL in your blood stream. For a person who weighs 200 pounds, losing 10 to 20 pounds reduces the TGL and LDL for about 20 percent. So, having a regular workout or a brisk walk of 20 minutes a day can be very fruitful; even if weight loss is not significant, it helps in keeping the body clock and the Homeostatic Mechanism Rust Free.
A Good Sleep Is All It Takes
In today’s life, full of chaos and pressure, we always tend to push our body over the limit a little more extra, which directly affects the body clock or the Homeostatic Mechanism that works for the balance. As the International Standard states a healthy adult must have a sound sleep a minimum of 7 to 8 hours daily; lack of which turns out disastrous. So even if you are not able to work out on a daily basis, a sound sleep helps in compensating.
Sugar 10% Only
Most of us would love to die for that an extra bite of sweet/dessert and press very hard to avoid them. Many of the studies state that people that have 10 percent of their regular diet as sugar have the least TGL and LDL Levelsin Blood stream. So that extra bottle of Coke/Soda, that extra donuts and that mouth watering candies can spoil all of your efforts.
Fructose The Badass
Scientists have revealed that food products having high level of Fructose are more dangerous than other sugar containing eateries e.g. High fructose Corn Syrup and some of Dry Fruits like Raisins. Fruits like Bananas, Grapefruit, Strawberries and Peaches have Low Fructose levels and are Rich in Antioxidants and Vitamins which help in keeping the bad Cholesterol low.
More The Color More The Life
Veggies, Fruits rich in colour and Herbs of different kind possess Rejuvenating powers of Antioxidants and Fat Cutters that aid in reducing the LDL levels. Some of the very helpful ones are Eggplant, Dark Green Leafy Veggies, and from Cabbage Family, Apples, Berries, Peas, Avocados, Onion and Garlic.
Phytosterol The Great
Phytosterol are Cholesterol like substance which bind to LDL/TGL, prevents extra absorption in the intestines and have a protective effect on Cardio-Vascular system; found naturally in Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Flax Seeds, Pumpkins, Olives and in their cold pressed Oils and Dry Fruits like Almonds, Pistachios, and Walnuts; helps in maintaining the balance.
Fiber Is The key
Like Phytosterol Soluble Fiber is particularly helpful for reducing the absorption of Cholesterol in intestines. The richest sources are Whole Grains like Oats, Barley, Legumes, Psyllium Husk, and Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Citrus Fruits, Grapes, Apples, Carrots, Cabbage, Squash and in Fresh Juices.
Moderately Low Fat Diet Instead Of Low Fat Diet
Surprisingly, moderately Low Fat Diet is more effective than an extreme one. Studies reveal that to make it more effective, people with high Cholesterol should decrease their Fat Diet but not too much as it doesn’t help. It’s better to replace your diet with high fat dairy products to low fat dairy products instead of avoiding them totally.
Omega-3_ The Essential Fatty Acaids
To maintain the balance it is also necessary to up rise the good Cholesterol also. HDL or the good Cholesterol increases with the uptake of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Rich Foods which include fishes like Sardines, Salmon, Herring, Tuna and Lake Trout; if you are not into Sea Food then walnuts, Flax Seeds, and Chia Seeds will do the same.
Saturated Fat, Unsaturated Fat, And Trans Fat
Saturated Fat like present in Butter , Cheese, Milk, Poultry Products, and Red Meat; Trans fats like present in processed Vegetable Oils, Greasy Fast Food, Margarine, Pastries, Cakes, and Biscuit are like slow poison which get absorbed easily but hard to get rid off. While poly unsaturated fat like present in Sunflower, Soybeans, and Corn; and Mono Saturated Fats like in Olive Oil and Canola Oil are better but in limited quantity as they are also fat after all.
Alcohol Last But Not The Least
There is still a debate going, whether the use of Alcohol in the diet is good or bad, as some of the studies states that small amount of alcohol in diet can increase bad Cholesterol indirectly but many of the other studies found no association at all. But to be more cautious it is recommended that people with high cholesterol should avoid alcohol totally.
Concluding the discussion I would say that it is not very difficult to reduce Cholesterol, maintain the balance and live a healthy life if one is willing to.
All it takes is a few simple lifestyle modifications and a little more caution over your eating habits, which will do the magic.