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Cholesterol is an essential substance of human life which chemically is a monohydric alcohol C27H45OH, Sterol which is present in animal tissues like in Egg Yolk, Various Edible oils, Fats, Liver, Kidneys Adrenal gland, Nerve tissues of Brain and Spinal Cord. Though this term cholesterol sounds dreadful nowadays but is beneficial & essential for our body as it is synthesized in the liver and is a normal constituent of bile which is necessary for proper absorption of fat in the intestines.
Cholesterol is crucially important in metabolism as it serves as a precursor of various steroid hormones namely Sex Hormones and Adrenocorticoids. Cholesterol also helps in body synthesis of Vitamin D which is essential for development of bones. It also helps in synthesis of Myelin sheath of nerves which is protective to nerves as it insulates the nerve fibres. A low level of cholesterol in blood is also not beneficial as people fall sick very easily in such situations.
Cholesterol actually is a soft and viscid substance present in Blood vessels and in cells of the body. Being soluble with circulating fat in blood cholesterol circulates in vessels through about 96000 kms. of length in the body. Presence of cholesterol is very much a normal thing as 80% of cholesterol is synthesized in Liver while 20% of cholesterol is being supplemented through our meals.
Fruits, vegetables and cereals don’t have any cholesterol but have property to control its levels by virtue of its micro-nutrients.
High levels of cholesterol is a silent state leading to a dangerous disease as it gets deposited to internal layers of vessels leading to reduction in the lumen of vessels and thereby blood supply to the organ in particular is reduced. Subsequent blockage might lead to Cardiac attack when cardiac vessels are involved. In most individuals, an elevated blood level of cholesterol constitutes an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Other organs like kidney and brain are also equally liable to fall a pray to hypercholesterolemia.
There are various types of cholesterol present in our body namely:
HDL (High Density Lipoprotein):
This is a Body friendly or much acclaimed Good cholesterol which in high levels provides a protective cover to the vessels of vital organs like Heart from ill effects of other cholesterol. The preferred levels of HDL is >45 mg/DL.
LDL (Low density Cholesterol):
This type of cholesterol is the main culprit behind Coronary Heart Diseases. The normal value of LDL is below 130 mg/DL.
Serum Cholesterol: The normal range of this Cholesterol is 150-220 mg/DL.
Total Cholesterol: The normal range of total cholesterol is 400-700 mg/DL
VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein): The normal range of this variety of cholesterol is below 140 mg/DL
7 STEPS TO REDUCE CHOLESTEROL IN BLOOD ARE:
1. CHOLESTEROL IS GOOD:
HDL type of cholesterol is good and protective for vessels of the heart. To improve your HDL Cholesterol levels start having Omega -3 fatty acids which are richly present in Fish, Walnuts, Flax Seeds, Soya beans, Almond, Sesame, Mustard Oil and green leafy vegetables. Sea food and Fishes such as Sardine, Catfish, Pomfret, Shark Tuna, Lobsters and Prawns are healthier choices.
2. CHOLESTEROL’S HIGH LEVELS ARE BAD FOR HEALTH :
High levels of cholesterol in circulation poses a risk and threat to the life as it gets deposited to the internal lining of blood vessels particularly arteries, leading to reduction in the lumen of the vessels. This reduced lumen ultimately leaves less passage to the flow of blood to the organ leading to heart work more to supply sufficient oxygen, glucose and other necessary nutrients to every cell of the body which amount to 600 billion in a 70 kg normal man. This basic knowledge of morbid high cholesterol is must as it helps in modifying your dietary habits and life style patterns. Second step of knowledge about higher levels of cholesterol and its potential risk for diseases remains a main stay for motivation towards curbing Hypercholesterolemia by necessary measure.
Potentiator of Easy high level deposition of Cholesterol need to be identified in Capital “C” stuff namely:
CHIPS (POTATO, BANANA)
CIGARATTES & CIGARS
All these are rich in four “W” i.e. whites viz. FLOUR, SALT, SUGAR, MARGARINE. Deep fried snacks and junk food have rich saturated fats which potentiate excess deposition of cholesterol.
3. CONTROL BAD CHOLESTROL:
No cholesterol is bad cholestrol as every type of cholesterol is essential for body. Cholesterol got this BAD Omen because of its high levels in blood circulation.
Bad cholesterol means :
LOW LEVELS OF HDL AND HIGH LEVELS OF TOTAL CHOLESTEROL, LDL CHOLESTEROL AND TRIGLYCERIDES.
Bad cholesterol deposits are enhanced with intake of food sources like Egg Yolk, Liver, Kidney, Brain and Trans fats like Pizza, Pasta, Fried foods, deep fried food stuff, frozen food and packaged food material. Indian fast foods like Sweets, Parathas, Samosa, Kachori, Namkeen, Mathari etc potentiate deposition of this oily material into the intima of arteries.
Food stuff rich in saturated fats like coconut oil, butter ghee, palm oil whole milk, margarine, Hydrogenated vegetable Oil, all creams (sour half and half whipped) whole milk yogurt, ice creams condensed milk cheese, cocoa butter, palm kernel oil, dough nuts and cookies are rich in saturated fatty acids leads to pooling of bad cholesterol. Simple carbohydrates like refined flour, sugar, sweets pastries, pasta cookies and candies if preferred as snacks. It will push you to higher levels of bad cholesterol which is dangerous for your health & pocket both.
Instead complex carbohydrates like whole wheat, brown rice, oats barley, wheat bread, dried peas and beans are to be preferred for control of bad cholesterol and its high level. Certain non food states/stuffs like mental anxiety, cigarette smoking and alcohol also pose a risk to abnormal high levels of cholesterol.
4. TIPS TO INCREASE GOOD CHOLESTEROL:
As we know good cholesterol is nothing but all types of cholesterol within normal limits. What food source get you to control levels of cholesterol are:
Fat less flash,
Fish (Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids)
Raw cereals (soybeans rich in Omega 3 fatty acids)
SNACK SMART BY OPTING SPROUTS, SEEDS, FRUITS IN ORIGINAL FORM. NUTS LIKE ALMOND,WALNUT,VEGGIE JUICES,FIBRE & BRIGHTLY COLOURED VEGGIES & FRUITS. Fruits which have Orange or Yellow or Violet or dark colored skin are known to be rich in Anti Oxidents & Micro-nutrients which have remarkable role in controlling risk ratio between HDL and Coronary Heart Disease.
REMEMBER – THE RULE OF FESTIVE “F”
FISH is better than FOWL, FOWL is better than FLESH.
FIBRE is better than FRIED OR FROZEN & FAST FOOD.
FAT FREE FOOD is FISH, FRUITS & FLAVOURS.
Certain dietary products helping in increase in HDL level which is cardioprotective are :
Green Leafy Vegetables
Grapes (Specially Black)
5. CHOLESTEROL AND ROLE OF OIL IN FOOD :
Oil in food plays an important role in causing deposition of cholesterol in body. Oils like that of olive are good for your health as it is a poor source of saturated fat leading to maintain an optimal level of cholesterol in circulation. With olive oil the only limiting factor is its cost.(Rs 1600/ per Litre). Oils like Canola, Olive and Peanut Butter are rich with mono unsaturated fat (MUFA) leading to increase in good cholesterol.
Oils favoring and causing high levels of bad cholesterol are Coconut Oil, butter, ghee, Palm oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable oil and Dalda vanaspati. These oils are to be replaced with :
Rice bran oil,
Mustard oil and
Ground nut oil
It is always healthier to choose plant oils like Sunflower, Safflower, Peanut, Olive oil or a combination of oils in part of day or with different meals. OLIVE OIL should ideally be consumed RAW (Unheated). Over Heating of Oils makes them Rancid & there by reducing Heart Friendly properties. Single or Double refinement of the Oils make them poor in Heart Friendly Ingredients.
6. ROLE OF EXERCISE & LSM (LIFE STYLE MODIFICATION) IN CONTROL OF CHOLESTEROL
Aerobics like Jogging, Running, Cycling, Swimming, Stair stepping, Dance and walking brisk utilize large muscles group and are continuously rhythmic in nature are much of help to keep cholesterol and body in proper shape .
Inclusion of such a schedule to have 45 minutes of aerobics or any racket sport (Badminton, table Tennis, Squash or Lawn Tennis) in morning is an essential advocated life style modification which will not only control cholesterol but also Diabetes, Hypertension and your excess weight.
Simple and subconscious modification like:
Not using Elevator but stairs,
Parking your Vehicle at a far off distance,
Not using Peon for transfer of files,
Start helping your spouse in kitchen,
Develop Gardening as a Hobby.
OH YES ! FIBRE IS CHOLESTEROL CONTROLLING.
The most beneficial dietary factor to control cholesterol level and reduce cholesterol absorption from intestines is dietary fibre. Fibre is richly present in your diet with:
Soluble fibers as in Oats, Fresh fruits, Green leafy vegetables, Rajmah
Bran, Barley, Ragi, Jwar, Corn, Ground nuts.
Lettuce, Spinach, Broccoli, Beans
Fruits like Apples, Pear and Guava
A positive approach towards smart snacking of replacing Burgers, Pizzas, Aloo tikia, kachori etc with low calorie idli sambher, Pulses+Rice,Curd+Rice, Fruits in original form like an APPLE, GUAVE, ORANGE, PINE-APPLE, AMLA & WATER-MELON are known to help burn excess fat. If these fruitful food are used in place of common snacks there is no reason you not only reduce your weight and cholesterol but look leaner & thinner with much of attained agility.