We need a certain amount of cholesterol for our bodies to function efficiently, just as we need vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and other nutrients. Cholesterol is found in animal tissue and aids in cell membrane formation. This article explains what is cholesterol and which is the optimal level one should have to lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
What is Cholesterol?
Have you ever wondered what is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a wax-like substance produced naturally by our livers. It helps form cell membranes and produce hormones. Our liver can produce enough cholesterol to meet our daily needs, and we should not consume extra cholesterol by eating unhealthy.
What is The Optimal Cholesterol Level?
The ideal cholesterol level is under 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) – based on the research. People having these cholesterol levels got lower risks of heart disease. Unfortunately, many people show higher levels of 200 (mg/dL), which is very harmful to health. Nearly 225mg/dL is the average level that causes coronary artery disease.
Now, we know what is cholesterol and what is the optimal level, but which foods can lower bad cholesterol? Which foods we should be eating to improve good cholesterol levels? Check out the next paragraph!
Can Healthier Foods Lower Cholesterol Level?
Yes! People should change their eating habits and make better choices. Diets high in trans fats, saturated fats, and cholesterol, found in meat products, dairy, and eggs can increase the cholesterol level and the risk of a heart attack. Foods high in saturated fats should be avoided or consumed in limited amounts because they can force your liver to produce too much cholesterol.
The experts claim that a plant-based diet can do the opposite! Unprocessed vegan foods are good sources of soluble fiber, which helps lower LDL cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber can also slow down cholesterol absorption and reduce de amount of cholesterol our liver produces.
The plant-based foods recommended are the following:
- Fruits, and Vegetable
All these foods should not be processed and eaten regularly because they contain a good source of soluble fiber.
Also, it is very important to ask a specialist about any changes in your diet. Now knowing what is cholesterol and its dangers, let’s take a look at the difference between LDL Cholesterol and HDL Cholesterol!
The Difference Between LDL Cholesterol and HDL Cholesterol
Cholesterol is not dissolving in blood, but it needs two types of carriers to be transported in our blood flow: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
What is Cholesterol (LDL): also known as “bad cholesterol” it has to be consumed in limited amounts. LDL goes to any part of our bodies, and a high level can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. It happens because its particles contribute to atherosclerosis or clogged arteries.
What is Cholesterol (HDL): known as “good cholesterol: this helps cleanse HDL from arteries.
Usually, the doctors are measuring the total cholesterol level, and they check if the person is at risk of getting a disease. They are splitting the total amount of HDL from LDL to see if the person has a higher amount of bad cholesterol or a bigger proportion of HDL. If HDL cholesterol level is higher than LDL, then the person has a much smaller risk of a heart attack.
Also Read: Top 5 Cholesterol-lowering Teas
Best Cholesterol-lowering Diet
Studies have shown that plant-based diets can lower cholesterol levels much more efficiently than other diets, such as omnivore diets. Low-fat vegan diets can reduce LDL by almost 15-30%.
There are still some people recommending chicken and fish for lowering their cholesterol levels. However, several studies have shown that patients with heart disease who continued eating chicken and fish, tended to worsen their condition with time. Those who adopted a low-fat vegan diet, exercised, did not smoke, and stopped stressing showed positive changes in reversing their heart disease condition.
Recipes for Lowering Cholesterol
This is everything we know about what is cholesterol, as well as other useful information. Feel free to try these cholesterol-lowering vegan recipes.