In addition to cancer, cardiovascular disease can be said to be one of the common health threats faced by modern people. Among them, “atherosclerosis”, which often leads to serious cardiovascular complications, and its key factor, cholesterol, are also included in modern people’s diet. Excessive, uneven or increasingly refined forms are becoming more and more common. The risk of high cholesterol is no longer limited to middle-aged and elderly patients, but is also causing harm to young people.
When the average life expectancy is longer than in the past, but more people are suffering from chronic diseases, how to live a healthy and long life has become a topic for all modern people. This article will help you understand how to effectively reduce and control cholesterol by improving your diet and habits. , stay away from the potential threat of heart disease, self-care is not sad.
3 tips for lowering cholesterol
1.Reduce saturated fat: Red meat, eggs, milk in moderation
In the past, many people believed that the cholesterol contained in food (dietary cholesterol) was one of the causes of high cholesterol. However, more and more recent studies have found that most of the body’s cholesterol is produced by the liver. Compared with dietary cholesterol , reducing your intake of saturated fat may be more helpful.
Due to differences in fat structure, saturated fat is more likely to promote the formation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, commonly known as bad cholesterol) than unsaturated fat. If you want to reduce your intake of saturated fat, you may want to eat mainly fish and chicken, and reduce your intake of red meats such as pigs, beef, and mutton, as well as eggs and full-fat dairy products. You should also use vegetable oils rich in unsaturated fatty acids when cooking. Such as olive oil.
2.Avoid trans fats: fried foods, cakes, and fast food
Although unsaturated fatty acids are relatively healthy, they are not very effective when used in food processing because unsaturated fatty acids are easy to deteriorate and are not resistant to high-temperature frying. However, as processing technology matures, when unsaturated fatty acids are hydrogenated, the incompletely hydrogenated oil produced contains a large amount of “trans fat”, which can avoid various problems that vegetable oil is not conducive to processing and preservation. Therefore, it was immediately used in large quantities in margarine. , dairy products, creamers, cakes and snacks and other processed foods.
Many studies have now found that trans fat not only increases bad cholesterol, but also reduces high-density lipoprotein (HDL, commonly known as good cholesterol). It is even more threatening to the human body than saturated fat, significantly increasing the risk of heart disease.
In fact, even natural foods such as cows, sheep, and dairy products contain small amounts of trans fats. However, there is currently no research indicating that these natural trans fats may be harmful to the human body compared to artificially hydrogenated trans fats.
3.Fiber intake helps the liver burn cholesterol
The natural fiber (dietary fiber) contained in food can be divided into water-soluble and insoluble fiber. Most people think of the function of fiber, which usually helps gastrointestinal motility and promotes defecation. In fact, this is only the function of insoluble fiber.
Water-soluble fiber can combine with bile acid and bile salts to form feces and be excreted from the body. Since cholesterol is one of the components of bile acid and bile salts, the liver will compensatorily consume more cholesterol to produce enough bile acid to synthesize bile. Therefore, while avoiding excessive intake of cholesterol, you may wish to increase your diet rich in water-soluble fiber.
There are many foods rich in water-soluble fiber, mainly oats, fruits, and beans. For example, barley, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, apples, bananas, oranges, pears, plums, etc. are all delicious and nutritious choices when eaten alone or cooked into dishes.
Cholesterol too high? “Blood lipid test” is the most accurate
Most of the long-circulated online news such as “cholesterol is not harmful” comes from the fact that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has removed the daily cholesterol intake from the “2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans”. However, this This does not mean that cholesterol contained in food is completely risk-free, but because the relationship between diet and cholesterol involves many influencing factors, based on the current research results, it is not possible to establish a recommended cholesterol intake and will not be discussed.
In addition, the guideline also quotes the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine, “In a healthy dietary pattern, the average person should still minimize their intake of cholesterol.”
So, how can you and I judge whether we are consuming too much cholesterol?
Take eggs as an example. One egg contains about 210 mg of cholesterol. According to the “past recommendations”, when the recommended daily cholesterol intake is 300 mg, it is fine for the average person to eat one egg a day.
However, there is no recommended intake amount now, and I believe many people eat more than one egg a day. Are there any problems with this?
There is actually no answer. The only way is to check whether you have high cholesterol through a cholesterol test (blood fat test).
Two key points of a low-cholesterol diet
Even though it is established that dietary cholesterol is not the main source of cholesterol in the body, some high-cholesterol foods are also high in saturated fat.
In addition, due to genetic factors, some people are born with higher cholesterol, poor cholesterol metabolism, or are at high risk of coronary heart disease. They need to be more conscious of eating high-cholesterol and high-saturated fat foods in moderation. Relevant suggestions are as follows:
1.Eat less high-cholesterol or high-saturated foods
The definition of eating less means that it is not completely impossible to eat. Depending on personal eating habits, it is still recommended that each person consult a nutritionist for the exact low-cholesterol diet. The following are the top 3 high cholesterol foods:
- Offal: The liver, brain, heart and other organs of animals contain high amounts of cholesterol.
- Specific seafood: It is okay to eat fish and seafood in moderation, but the intake of fish eggs, shrimp eggs, dried small fish, shrimp heads, crab roe and other parts containing higher cholesterol should be reduced.
- Dairy products: Replace whole milk with low-fat or skim milk, and eat less processed dairy products such as cheese and ice cream.
2.Cooking methods and oils: lard, butter OUT, olive oil IN
It is recommended that cooking oils be mainly unsaturated fatty acids, such as olive oil, rapeseed oil, canola oil, etc., and avoid oils with high saturated fatty acids such as lard, butter, palm oil, and butter.
The cooking methods include steaming, stewing, boiling, roasting, and cold salad instead of frying.
Quitting smoking protects good cholesterol (HDL)
Smoking not only increases LDL and lowers HDL concentration, but also damages vascular endothelial cells, making it easier for fatty plaques to deposit on the blood vessel walls, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis. The study found that one year after quitting smoking, the number and particle volume of HDL in ex-smokers increased, and the improvement was particularly obvious in women.
Some people may think that it will take a year to quit smoking before any changes will occur, or that they have been smoking for many years and it is too late to make changes now, but this is not the case. According to research from the Mayo Clinic, blood circulation and lung function will improve as long as you quit smoking for 3 months.
If you don’t smoke for one year, your risk of coronary heart disease (or ischemic heart disease) can be reduced by half.
Exercise helps increase good cholesterol (HDL)
Although exercise does not directly help lower LDL, research has found that moderate exercise can increase the amount of HDL in the blood and reduce triglycerides. Triglycerides and cholesterol are both blood fats, and excessive triglycerides may cause pancreatitis and also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In addition, the role of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, good cholesterol) is to collect low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood and send it back to the liver for metabolism. Therefore, higher HDL also means that it can reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol and avoid the formation of fatty spots. block, block blood vessels.
What kind of exercise is enough? It is generally recommended to exercise at least 5 times a week for 30 minutes each time. Aerobic exercises such as jogging, cycling, and swimming can help you improve your cardiorespiratory capacity.
If you feel that 30 minutes is too long and you can’t bear it at the beginning, you can also consider reducing the time, but remember to make time for exercise every day. You will find that your body adapts faster than you think, and then you can increase the intensity or time of exercise as appropriate!
Don’t drink too much!
Although alcohol does not contain cholesterol, excessive drinking can increase triglycerides in the blood, raise blood pressure, and may increase the risk of heart disease.
Some studies have found that resveratrol, a polyphenol in red wine, can increase HDL concentrations. However, the right amount of red wine to drink still needs further research and there is no standard answer.
In particular, more than half of people have a genetic defect, which results in the lack of “acetaldehyde dehydrogenase” in the body. Whenever they drink alcohol, they will have flushing symptoms, resulting in poor alcohol metabolism. Therefore, it is not recommended to develop the need to drink red wine for heart health. . Let me remind you not to drink too much. It is recommended that men should not exceed 2 cans of beer per day and women should not exceed 1 can of beer per day.