Cholesterol is a yellowish fatty substance that is found in every cell in the human body and is essential for the working of various bodily processes such as building and maintaining the cell membrane, synthesis of hormones, transportation of fat, protection of red blood cells and the production of vitamin D. Most of the cholesterol is naturally manufactured by the body and is produced in the liver. Almost 20- 30 % of it comes from our diet and becomes potentially dangerous when its levels become too high.
There are two types of cholesterol manufactured by the body- LDL cholesterol which is also known as bad cholesterol and HDL cholesterol which is the good form of cholesterol. The high levels of LDL cholesterol can build up on the vault of the arteries thereby, blocking the flow of blood to the heart and increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack, arteriosclerosis or coronary heart disease.
What causes high blood cholesterol?
High blood cholesterol is mainly a digestive problem caused by excessive intake of rich foods such as fried food, excessive consumption of milk and milk products like butter and cream, white flour, sugar, cakes, cheese, ice cream as well as red meat, beef and eggs. Other factors responsible for this disease are diabetes, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, stress and genetic factors.
Help for high blood cholesterol:
High cholesterol can be lowered or controlled by following a healthy lifestyle, making some changes in your diet and intake of certain natural remedies.
Replace bad fats with healthy fats: Saturated fats are known as bad fats and are those which solidify at room temperature. They impose a serious threat to our health and tend to increase the level of cholesterol in our blood and clog the arteries of our heart. They are mainly found in foods such as dairy products, sea food, poultry and meat. Some plant foods such as coconut oil and palm oil are also high in saturated fats. Processed and fast foods should also be avoided as they abound in bad fats.
All foods comprising of Trans fats should be eliminated form the diet. These fats are the worst of all and are produced by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen. Packaged foods, fast foods, frozen foods, baked goods, candies cookies and chips are some of the food items that should be consumed moderately.
The best fats for the body are the unsaturated fats or the healthy fats that can actually help unclog the blood vessels blocked by cholesterol. They remain liquid at room temperature and come from vegetable sources. They are a healthier alternative to saturated fats and can be found in vegetables oils such a sesame, sunflower, soy and olive.
Foods to eat: Garlic is considered to be the best food for reducing hypercholesterolemia since ancient times. It is rich in antioxidants and can be added to salads, foods and soups for best results. Alternatively, you can also eat 2-3 raw cloves of chopped garlic on a daily basis to lower high cholesterol.
Onions are normally responsible for normalizing the percentage of blood cholesterol by oxidizing the excess cholesterol. Adenosine is a chemical found in onions that is linked to the thinning of blood and lowering LDL cholesterol. Regular consumption of onions brings down the level of high cholesterol and prevents arteriosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. Take 1 tsp of raw onion juice on an empty stomach every morning for treating this condition.
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