Cholesterol is something that affects us all and is something we all must deal with. There is good and bad cholesterol and high cholesterol runs in families – but how do you manage cholesterol?
Cholesterol isn’t dissolved in the blood stream. Instead it is carried around the body by lipoproteins, whose job it is to transport good cholesterol to the cells that need it, then high-density proteins transport it away from the cells so that the bad cholesterol is broken down and removed from the body.
Of course, the body needs cholesterol, but too much of the wrong cholesterol in the blood increases our risk of coronary heart disease and blocked arteries.
It has been well documented by the medical profession that food plays a big part in keeping our cholesterol levels down. Oats are a high fibre food, which if eaten as part of a healthier diet are effective in reducing cardiovascular disease in general. Oats contain fibre and are thought to help lower LDL cholesterol, which may prevent cardiovascular disease.
Almonds are an unsaturated fat that are rich in omega-9 fatty acids, which may also helps prevent cardiovascular disease. Almonds are also a rich source of Vitamin E and contain other protective nutrients, such as magnesium and calcium that also help keep our bones strong.
Low cholesterol foods
Foods that contain unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats can help to manage and reduce cholesterol levels. They include:
- Nuts (as mentioned above);
- Oily fish including sardines, mackerel and salmon;
- Pumpkin and sunflower seeds;
- Vegetable oils including olive oil; sunflower oil; rapeseed oil and corn oil;
Unfortunately, trans fats can also raise cholesterol levels. They’re usually found in dairy and meat products such as lamb, beef and pork; any food derived from an animal but not fish.
Hydrogenated fats found in some cakes and biscuits will contain trans fats and should be avoided. Always check packaging for details. Organic produce should be consumed instead.