7 Foods to lower down Cholesterol

7 foods which reduce cholesterol level in the body

Cholesterol is a type of fatty substance, which is produced by the liver. It plays an important role in the formation of cell walls, the protective shield of the nervous system, and hormones. It combines with proteins to form lipoproteins, which prevent fat from dissolving in the blood.

There are two types of cholesterol in the body – HDL (high-density lipoprotein, the good cholesterol) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein, the bad cholesterol). HDL i.e. good cholesterol is very light and it carries the fat stored in the blood vessels with it. Bad cholesterol i.e. LDL is more viscous and thick. If its quantity is high, it accumulates on the walls of blood vessels and arteries, thereby obstructing the flow of blood.

What can happen if the cholesterol level rises in the body?

Its increase can lead to problems like heart attack, high blood pressure and obesity. A blood test called lipid profile is done to check cholesterol. The total cholesterol in the body of a healthy person should be less than 200 mg/dL, HDL more than 60 mg/dL and LDL should be less than 100 mg/dL. Know 7 such foods whose consumption can help you reduce cholesterol:

1. Avocado: Avocado is a nutrition-dense fruit. The unsaturated fats and fiber present in it are very good for our heart and reduce the amount of bad LDL present in our body and increase the levels of good LDL. Clinical studies also say that avocado is a worthwhile way to reduce cholesterol. Therefore, include one avocado daily in your diet and keep your cholesterol under control.

2. Dry Fruits: The fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins found in almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are helpful in reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol. The fiber present in them gives a feeling of fullness for a long time. Due to this, the person avoids the consumption of harmful fatty snacks.

3. Garlic: Many such enzymes are found in garlic, which proves to be helpful in reducing LDL cholesterol. According to research done by scientists, regular consumption of garlic can reduce the level of LDL cholesterol by 9 to 15 percent. Apart from this, it also controls high blood pressure.

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4. Whole Grains: Whole grains keep the entire part of the grain intact so that we get more vitamins and minerals. Oats and barley are very important to control cholesterol. Oats and barley contain beta-glucan, which is a soluble fiber, which reduces our cholesterol. Therefore, include oats and barley in your daily diet.

5. Fruits: Fruits are very important for a heart-healthy diet. It contains a lot of soluble fibers that reduce your cholesterol levels. With their help, your body can also get rid of cholesterol and your liver also likes to make more cholesterol. The bioactive compounds present in fruits also protect you from heart disease and other chronic diseases. Fruits are also an excellent source of antioxidants.

6. Dark Chocolate: According to research, the cocoa present in dark chocolate can reduce your bad LDL. Therefore, if possible, make sure to consume cocoa beverages or dark chocolate. However, it is also worth noting here that chocolate contains added sugar. So try to either drink only cocoa beverages or eat such dark chocolate which has a lot of cocoa content.

7. Olive Oil: The monounsaturated fat present in it is helpful in keeping the cholesterol level stable. It strengthens the walls of the artery. This reduces the risk of heart disease. It also controls high blood pressure and sugar level. It has been proved from research that if food made in olive oil is eaten continuously for six weeks, then it can reduce the level of cholesterol by up to 8 percent.

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Jagisha Arora

MA in History and has worked as a freelance writer. She writes on issues of gender, caste and democracy.
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