Cholesterol is a lipid, a substance that is directly involved in the formation of cells in the body. It is required for the production of vitamin D and is involved in the functioning of the immune and nervous systems. Cell membranes are formed from it. Simply put, no organism can do without cholesterol.
Emit good and bad lipids. The first type of cholesterol has a low density, so it settles on the walls of blood vessels and can provoke the appearance of plaques. Good cholesterol has a dense consistency and stimulates the cleansing of the body.
To correct the situation with bad cholesterol, you must follow a number of rules:
- the minimum amount of salt, no more than 5 g per day;
- meals should be fractional, at least 4 times;
- the intake of clean water into the body should be regular;
- the amount of animal fat should be minimal, it is necessary to give preference to vegetable;
- it is necessary to reduce the amount of consumption of eggs, which are the main source of cholesterol;
- the diet should always contain fruits and vegetables, fiber.
Do not forget about sports and walks in the fresh air. It is best to quit smoking.
Reasons for the increase
There are actually quite a lot of provoking factors for the appearance of harmful cholesterol, the most common are:
- excess weight;
- dependence on tobacco;
- endocrine diseases;
- sedentary lifestyle;
- problems with the digestive tract.
However, it is not only from food that a person gets cholesterol. In fact, the body produces about 80% of lipids. But it is possible to remove 20% of cholesterol with the help of nutritional correction. In extreme cases, the attending physician may prescribe a medication solution to the problem.
The reason for the increase in cholesterol can be a lack of vitamin D in the body. According to statistics, about 80% of the entire population of our country suffers from a lack of this vitamin, including even residents of the southern coast. In light of this, we can say with full responsibility that our citizens need to additionally consume supplements with vitamin D or fish oil.
The biological value of cholesterol and the danger of increasing it
Cholesterol is extremely necessary for the body, without it it would not be able to exist. There are several reasons for this:
- sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen are composed of lipids;
- bile acid consists of cholesterol, which in turn is responsible for the digestion of food;
- the brain also contains lipids that are involved in the formation of new cells in the myelin sheath. With a lack of cholesterol, a person observes memory problems, aggression and depression appear.
Low cholesterol levels lead to the development of infectious diseases. It is the low level of bad lipids that prevents the formation of antibodies that are resistant to the common cold.
However, exceeding the norm of cholesterol in the body can lead to serious consequences for humans:
- varicose veins;
- liver disease;
- renal failure;
- heart attack;
- Alzheimer’s disease.
But the main danger is hypertension. It is this disease that is the scourge of modern humanity. It is also dangerous that it is quite difficult to identify excess cholesterol by external signs.
To stabilize cholesterol levels in your body, you need to start by adjusting your diet. This does not mean at all that you will have to sit on a strict diet, but nevertheless, some products will have to be abandoned.
You can eat meat, but low-fat varieties. You do not need to cook it in a pan. Poultry and beef are ideal.
Seafood is healthy, but on one condition, if it is not fried fish, not canned food, octopus and squid. Marine fish such as mackerel and salmon, which contain polyunsaturated fats, are suitable.
Give preference to vegetable fats, because the body cannot do without them. These are olive, linseed and sunflower seeds. But you also should not be afraid of lard, since it contains several times less cholesterol than butter.
Eat low-fat dairy products and their derivatives, that is, cottage cheese with a fat content of up to 5%, cheese up to 30%, yogurt and kefir up to 1%.
Eggs, as the main source of cholesterol, can be consumed in an amount of no more than 3 pieces throughout the week. Confectionery is also a major source of cholesterol. Margarine is used in baked goods, which is a trans fat and causes the formation of bad cholesterol.
Lean on vegetables and fruits. Especially useful are those with a high content of pectins: carrots, apples, cherries, pears, citrus fruits.
Eat durum wheat pasta and bread, which help remove harmful lipids from the body.
Do not skip the consumption of legumes, they are very healthy and contain a lot of protein.
Drinking tea is recommended to lower lipids, and avoiding coffee can lower cholesterol by 17%.
Nuts have a moderate effect on the process of removing harmful lipids, so they can be safely included in the diet.
Remember to read the label before purchasing any product. The higher the calorie content, the more cholesterol they contain.
And to keep your lipid levels from rising, try to quit smoking and drinking alcohol. Monitor your weight and lose weight as needed. Do sports, rest and do not forget to undergo regular preventive medical examinations.
Fully or partially limited products
Any fast food products, chips, mayonnaise, finished and salty foods are completely banned. It is unacceptable to drink sugary carbonated drinks. Industrial sweets are also dangerous, as they contain palm oil and margarine – the main suppliers of cholesterol. This even applies to candy and chocolate.
It is forbidden to eat fatty foods, even if they are cooked with the healthiest oils.
Semi-finished products and sausages, sausages, “large” suppliers of bad cholesterol. Extremely dangerous nuggets , bacon, dumplings and liverwurst, they should not even be included in the diet periodically.
The meat consumed should not be fatty. If we are talking about poultry, then the peel must be removed without fail.
Crab sticks, dried fish and salted caviar are completely prohibited. As a last resort, you can use squid, but cooked in foil. You can eat canned food without salt, but finding them will be extremely problematic.
Particular attention should be paid to alcohol. On the one hand, it dilates blood vessels and breaks down fat, and on the other hand, alcohol makes them fragile and the cholesterol present increasingly “sticks” to the walls. Therefore, it is still recommended to limit alcoholic beverages in your diet.
Debunking myths, we can say with complete confidence that the less cholesterol, the better – this is a complete lie. Good lipids are extremely important for the human body and a person cannot live without them. After all, this is a real building material involved in the formation of hormones. The first sign of a lack of lipids is the early appearance of wrinkles. Therefore, at a rate of 5 mmol /, a decrease to 3 units is a real reason to think about changing the diet and lifestyle.
Another myth is that cholesterol is the cause of plaque formation. In fact, without provoking factors, lipids will never cause atherosclerosis. Since cholesterol itself does not constrict blood vessels. For example, a smoker with each cigarette constricts his own blood vessels, they are exposed to collagen, and it is at this moment that cholesterol begins to be introduced and accumulate. Simply put, if the person did not smoke, then there would be no plaques.
There are many more examples that confirm the importance of cholesterol for the body. Therefore, in no case can one go on a diet thoughtlessly, only after laboratory tests and consultation with a doctor.
Consequences of not following the diet
If medical examinations confirm the presence of an increased amount of harmful cholesterol in the body, then it is still recommended to strictly follow the prescribed diet. After all, high levels of this substance can provoke the most serious diseases, including problems with the genital area.
Cholesterol is the most important element of our body, but even with its excess, you do not need to mindlessly go on a diet. Nutrition can be adjusted only after consulting a doctor.