Most of us are aware that one way to prevent heart disease and other severe health problems is to ensure that our cholesterol level remains low. Learning how to manage and lower cholesterol by diet is of prime importance to us all if we wish to remain healthy.
There are a few different things which can lead to dangerous cholesterol levels, for example, your weight. Being overweight or obese is in itself an unhealthy condition, but it can also cause higher cholesterol levels. When you lose weight, you tend to decrease your overall cholesterol level which includes your levels of bad cholesterol; and you can increase your good cholesterol at the same time. Other factors which can play a role are exercise, gender and age – and genetics are also important. However, there is also ample evidence that healthy diets lower cholesterol, so there are things you can do to help.
Eating a low cholesterol diet is the single best way to keep your cholesterol levels low. When you reduce your dietary intake of bad cholesterol by 10% – 20%, you can greatly improve your cardiovascular health. Your diet should incorporate fish, vegetable oils and other sources of healthy fats. Trans fats and saturated fats should be avoided whenever possible. You can make sure that part of your strategy to lower cholesterol by diet includes switching from butter, margarine and polyunsaturated oils to healthier choices like olive or canola oil. Instead of using butter in your cooking, you can use white wine vinegar to lower your cholesterol level; replacing whole eggs with a cholesterol free substitute can also help.
While it is critical that you watch your diet to lower your cholesterol, you need to make sure that you make the right kind of changes. There are a lot of people who want to lose weight by changing their diet in ways which actually increase their cholesterol, such as low fat diets which include a high amount of carbohydrates. Cholesterol is something your body needs, just in small amounts. When your body doesn’t get any through your diet, it begins to start making more of its own cholesterol. You will also begin to produce more insulin in order to allow the liver to use sugars to produce cholesterol and triglycerides. Instead of avoiding cholesterol altogether, remember that the right kind of diets lower cholesterol, be sure to get enough good cholesterol in your diet. We make only about 75% of the cholesterol we need ourselves, so you do need to get the rest through the food you eat.
When you replace cholesterol with sugars and carbs, you end up on a path which ultimately leads to a higher, not lower level of cholesterol. Your body believes that you are experiencing a famine and as a result, your metabolism slows (which also makes it incredibly tough to lose weight, if that happens to be one of your goals as well) and your liver begins producing too much cholesterol in an attempt to compensate for what you’re not getting through your diet and stockpile cholesterol for what it thinks is a scarcity of food. Remember, it’s not just being on a diet which helps you lower cholesterol – the kind of diet you’re on matters a great deal. So in your approach to lower cholesterol by diet there are a number of common sense factors that you can consider.