In addition to adopting a diet to control LDL cholesterol, it is also important to practice physical exercise to combat the effects of sedentary lifestyle and avoid bad habits, such as tobacco and alcohol. The accumulation of LDL cholesterol in the arteries is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Although the problem may pass asymptomatically, its lack of control can trigger serious consequences. In this sense, the best ally is a diet to control cholesterol. Actually, LDL is a problem when HDL cholesterol is also high. That is, it is the relationship between the two that should worry us the most. It is said that a person has high cholesterol when, when measuring their levels, it yields results equal to or higher than 200 mg / dl. On the other hand, the disorder is more alarming when the values are higher than 250 mg / dl. Why is it produced? Is it possible to control hypercholesterolemia through diet? Although most cases are caused by genetic factors, changes in diet are the main tool to regulate it.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is an essential fat molecule for life. It is part of the cell membranes and is the precursor of some hormones, bile acids, vitamin D and other essential substances for the organism.
“It comes mainly from the synthesis that organs such as the liver and the intestine perform”.
In addition, it is absorbed through the consumption of food, especially of animal origin. However, its excess derives in its accumulation in the walls of the arteries. In this way, it triggers an inflammatory reaction that facilitates the growth of the so-called atheromatous plaques, responsible for disorders such as atherosclerosis.
This, among other things, is linked to:
- Myocardial infarction
- Liver and kidney diseases
There are many cases of high cholesterol that have genetic origins. In these cases, the disorder is suffered by several members of the same family or transmitted from parents to children. In them, the body “manufactures” more cholesterol than appropriate, making it difficult to control.
Other related causes are:
- Poor eating habits (diet rich in saturated fats and sugars)
- Obesity or diabetes
Diet to Control Cholesterol
To design a good diet to control cholesterol, it is important to consider some basic factors:
- Patient’s age
- Health status (if you suffer from other diseases)
- Weight and possible metabolic disorders
Considering this, a diet to control LDL cholesterol (popularly known as “bad cholesterol”) should be based on varied and healthy foods, whose nutrients meet the body’s requirements. In this sense, it should be your doctor who investigates the reasons for your high cholesterol levels and offers you a therapy and a diet to follow. Among others, this diet should restrict the intake of certain foods of animal origin that, in excess, can worsen the problem.
Foods that Should be Avoided
- Red meats
- Fatty cheeses
- Bakery products
- Precooked foods or fried foods
- Meals made with hydrogenated oils or fats
- Sugar and sweets
Recommended Foods to Lower Cholesterol
- Whole grains (oats, barley, rice)
- Legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
- Fruits and vegetables
- Unsaturated fats (olive oil, avocado oil, seeds and nuts)
- Sources of omega 3 or blue fish
- Lean meats (chicken or turkey)
Recommended Menu to Regulate Cholesterol
There are many menus for people who need to regulate their LDL cholesterol levels. As we mentioned, they will vary depending on the requirements of each one. However, taking into account the basic recommendations, we propose a balanced, healthy and delicious menu.
- First, oat flakes with skim milk and fruits
- To accompany, filtered black coffee
- In addition, toasted bread with extra virgin olive oil and sliced tomato
- First, a small sandwich with wholemeal bread and preserved sardines
- In addition, pickles (pickles, banderillas or similar)
- Roasted nuts (without frying and without salt)
- First, lentil salad and brown rice
- Of second, jack mackerel in pickle
- For dessert, small portion of avocado
- For the snack, a non-fat natural yogurt with nuts or seeds
- To start, sautéed or steamed vegetables
- Next, vegetable burger (lentil, quinoa or beans)
- For dessert, small portion of peach (optional)
Other Habits to Control Bad Cholesterol (LDL)
Food is key in the control of cholesterol. However, it is essential to take into account other habits that complement their effects on the body.
Regular physical exercise prevents and combats hypercholesterolemia. In effect, your daily practice, or at least 3 times a week, decreases the effects of sedentary lifestyle.
- First of all, walking, jogging or doing any cardiovascular activity promotes the elimination of LDL cholesterol.
- On the other hand, the ideal is to combine these exercises with strength training.
The consumption of tobacco does not in itself increase cholesterol. However, it affects the synthesis of HDL cholesterol (popularly known as “good cholesterol.” For this reason, it interferes with the processes that help keep this condition under control.
Good nutrition and physical exercise are the keys to achieving a healthy weight. Therefore, it is essential to be disciplined and constant to deal with the effects of overweight and obesity. Have you been diagnosed with high cholesterol? Watch out! Although you do not feel obvious discomforts, various diseases can be produced in your body. Therefore, try to address all recommendations to control it. To do this, consult your doctor and start with a diet to control cholesterol.
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