Cholesterol is made in your liver and has crucial functions, for instance, it helps keep the walls of your cells flexible and is needed to make various hormones. However, too much cholesterol in the body or cholesterol in the wrong places may hamper your overall health. Like fat, cholesterol is insoluble in water. Instead, it tends to transport in the body depends on molecules known as lipoproteins that carry cholesterol, fat and fat-soluble vitamins in the blood. Several lifestyle choices can help increase the beneficial cholesterol (HDL) and decrease harmful cholesterol (LDL). We tell you some important dietary tips to follow in order to keep your cholesterol levels in check, further helping you prevent the risk of heart problems.
Diet tips to manage cholesterol
1. Avoid trans-fat
Trans-fats are unsaturated fats that have been modified by a process known as hydrogenation. Hydrogenated products are not handled by the body properly, causing it to further up the bad cholesterol. So be careful of the products you buy in the grocery store. Food labels can be misleading, so be aware while buying.
2. Eat more soluble fibre
Soluble fibre is defined as a group of different compounds in plants that are soluble in water and that humans cannot digest. However, the friendly that live in your intestines can easily digest. So, include more soluble fibre rich foods like beans, peas and lentils, fruits, oats and whole grains in your diet.
3. Drink alcohol in moderation
Everything consumed in excess can be dangerous; similarly, excessive alcohol consumption can up the risk of heart diseases and cholesterol. So ensure you are not drinking too much.
4. Eat omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help raise your HDL cholesterol levels. They may also protect your heart from blood clots and inflammation and reduce the risk of heart attack. Include fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel in your diet. In fact, American Heart Association recommends eating fish two times a week.
5. Limit salt intake
You should try to limit your salt intake as it helps lower the risk of heart diseases by lowering blood pressure. Try adding lesser sodium into your diet to stay healthy.
6. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may increase important cholesterol-lowering compounds in your diet. These compounds, called plant stanols or sterols, work like soluble fibre.
(Also Read: 5 Fruits You Should Include In Your Cholesterol Diet)
7. Try and focus on mono-unsaturated fats
As opposed to saturated fats, unsaturated fats are healthier. Diet heavy on mono-unsaturated fats reduces harmful LDL, and also protects levels of healthy HDL. Include olive oil, olives, canola oil, tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, et al and avocadoes.
Follow these diet tips maintain good cholesterol levels and stay healthy. Make sure you consult a doctor who can help alter your diet plan according to your condition.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.