The Basics of Cholesterol and Why It Matters
Cholesterol is a natural substance that originates from two sources: your body and the foods you eat. Scientifically, it is a type of fat created by your liver that is found circulating in the blood. Excess cholesterol that results from a diet high in trans and saturated fats can lead to stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks. Having high cholesterol will not produce any obvious symptoms until it is too late; that is why a preventative plan of action is crucial to understanding your body's health and role in maintaining proper cholesterol levels.
Every individual body is different and some people are at higher risks for unhealthy cholesterol levels than others. This is due to the inheritance of certain genes which offset the balance of healthy and unhealthy types of cholesterol within the individual. These people need to be especially careful when it comes to their dietary decisions in order to avoid aggravating their genetic predisposition, however, people from all backgrounds are able to benefit from a healthy and balanced low-cholesterol diet.
Types of Cholesterol
Because cholesterol, a fat or lipid, cannot dissolve in the bloodstream, the body must use proteins to thoroughly distribute it. These proteins are aptly named lipoproteins and are the key to understanding the two types of cholesterol. LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is generally considered to be detrimental to your health since too much of it can create deposits that clog the arteries, which lead to heart problems. The other type of cholesterol is HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, which is the beneficial type of cholesterol that helps remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream and send it back into the liver. Once LDL cholesterol reaches the liver, it is then dissolved from the body.
Your Diet and Cholesterol
LDL cholesterol levels are directly affected by lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. A diet low in saturated and trans fat will significantly reduce LDL cholesterol, promoting the overall health of the heart and body. Saturated and trans fats are only two of the four dietary fats we regularly eat; the other two fats are mono-unsaturated fats and poly-unsaturated fats, which you should eat instead of the former. Numerous amounts of evidence support the positive effects of diet in relation to reducing LDL cholesterol. In a 1995 study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, protein from soybeans reduced the concentration of blood cholesterol in both experimental animals and humans; a more recent study published in 2016, by the Uludag University Faculty of Agriculture Department of Food Engineering, Bursa, concluded that cholesterol levels and the negative symptoms related to LDL were less common in individuals who adopted vegan and vegetarian-based diets. More studies are still being conducted today in order to understand the specifics of blood cholesterol in relation to diet.
Proactive Steps For Reducing Cholesterol
Foods rich in soluble fiber, which are the staple foods found in vegetarian diets, can reduce cholesterol levels in the body by preventing their absorption into the bloodstream. Some examples of these foods include: apples, pears, prunes, kidney beans, barley, oat bran, and oatmeal. As a bonus, incorporating more soluble fiber into your diet will help prevent constipation while keeping you active and full of energy. In order to increase the amount of HDL cholesterol, which will also reduce LDL levels, a moderate diet of healthy fats in combination with natural supplements has proven to be effective. These types of fats are found in fish, avocados, olives, walnuts, coconuts, and chia seeds. Beneficial supplements like propolis (a type of substance made by bees) and lymphosan (a botanical soluble fiber) help boost the health of the heart in combination with your dietary changes. While these foods are slowly being incorporated into your daily eating habits, the Siberian Health Company can provide you with the supplements that will initiate your progress to health.
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