What is cholesterol? What functions are performed by the "good" cholesterol? What diseases can cause cholesterol? What food cause high cholesterol? Read this article to find answers for this and other questions.
Cholesterol - a lipid (fat), which is mainly produced in the liver and is essential for normal body functioning. Cholesterol is present in the outer layer (plasma membrane) of every cell of our body and has many functions. This is waxy steroid and transported in the blood plasma of all animals. This is the main styrene synthesized by animals, but small quantities are also synthesized in plants and fungi.
Cholesterol can be divided into high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein. High-density lipoprotein - is "good" cholesterol, low density - "poor". The first helps to build new cells, needed to produce certain hormones. But the bad cholesterol is deposited at the walls of blood vessels, harm blood circulation and leads to atherosclerosis.
Functions performed by the "good" cholesterol:
- It creates and maintains cell membranes, it interferes the crystallization of hydrocarbons in the membranes;
- It is essential to determine which molecules can pass into the cell, and which can not (permeability of cell membranes);
- It is involved in the production of sex hormones (androgens and estrogens);
- It is necessary for the production of hormones secreted by the adrenal glands (cortisol, corticosterone, aldosterone, and others.);
- It serves as auxiliary substance in bile production;
- It converts sunlight in vitamin D;
- It is important for the metabolism (metabolism) of fat soluble vitamins including vitamins A, D, E and K;
- It insulates nerve fibers;
- Direct impact at human intelligence and is responsible for normal vision.
Bad cholesterol can cause the following diseases:
- Atherosclerosis - narrowing of the arteries and blockage of the arteries;
- A higher risk of coronary heart disease - damage of the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart;
- Myocardial infarction - occurs when blood is blocked and oxygen access to the area of cardiac muscle, usually the cause ia clot (thrombus) in a coronary artery. This leads to the death of cardiac muscle.
- Stenocardia - pain or discomfort in the chest that occurs when the heart muscle does not receive enough blood;
- Other cardiovascular diseases - heart and blood vessels;
- Stroke and mini-stroke - occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or vein, interrupting blood flow to the brain area. It may also occur when blood vessels are ruptured. As a result, brain cells begin to die.
Food cause high cholesterol list:
Meat products. Pork, bacon, fat grades of beef and lamb, duck, goose, the skin of poultry and offal (kidneys, liver, etc.), any sausage, smoked meat, minced meat - all these products and dishes should appear at your desktop extremely rarely. Let it be delicacies for the holiday table, and not products for the preparation for a daily menu. Lean beef, beef, ham, bacon are not so harmful, but their number is also necessary to limit. The most secure in this respect are considered meat products as: chicken and turkey without the skin, hare, rabbit and game birds. Lean meats should be eaten no more than 2-3 times a week. Prefer meat that will be boiled in water or steamed, grilled or baked in the oven.
Fish and seafood. I can not say that the fish roe, shrimp, squid, crabs, etc. considered to be very much harmful, but still should not be abused. Marine fish, particularly fatty, you can eat at least every day. Fatty ocean fish contains polyunsaturated fatty acid Omega-3 that are extremely useful for our body. Recommendations for the preparation of fish dishes are the same as for meat - no golden brown, just boiling, stewing and baking.
Dairy products. Unexpunged milk, sour cream, cream, fatty cheeses, condensed milk and ice cream are not recommended for people with high blood cholesterol. But you don not need to completely abandon milk and dairy products, just try to buy skimmed milk or low-fat (0.5-1%), 1 percent yogurt, cottage cheese 5% fat. Instead of sour cream, use yogurt of 1.5-2% fat.
Eggs. If you have elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood, need to completely abandon from egg yolk or to eat it rarely. Egg whites can be eaten no more than 2-3 times a week.
READ ALSO: What food to avoid with high cholesterol?
Vegetables and fruits. It you can eat in any form and amount. Of course, eating fresh fruits and vegetables are most preferably. You can braise them with a minimum of oil or even without it, bake, boil or steamed in water or cook fried, with all the rules. This statement is in any case does not apply to the french fries from fast food restaurants!
Nuts and seeds. All nuts and seeds contain essential fatty acids, so you can and must eat it. Try not to buy roasted nuts and seeds, but dried. You can be briefly soaked in clean cold water to improve the taste of nuts - they will be as fresh. Add nuts and seeds to salads, casseroles, cheese and low-calorie desserts.
Soups. Fat soups and broths are not for you, if your cholesterol tests are far from the norm. Your choice - fish and vegetable broths and soups, without any fried ingredients. When you are cooking meat or chicken broths - remove all the fat - because it contains the bulk of cholesterol; cook chicken without skin. Do not fill the first dish with sour cream.
Second dishes and garnishes. Fried potatoes, greasy rice, pasta nautically, stewed potatoes with meat - in short, all fatty and fried dishes are banned. To reduce cholesterol levels you have to learn how to cook main dishes more harmless. That is, your friend must be a pressure cooker, oven, or a hybrid of all the possible kitchen appliances -multivarka. Preparing main dishes, use as little oil, and if you can not do without it, add high-quality oil first cold pressed (eg, olive oil). The best cereals for a side dish or a main dish can be oatmeal, buckwheat, brown or black rice and legumes.
Oils. Maximum reduce your intake of butter, palm and coconut oil. Although in palm and coconut oil there are no cholesterol, but excessive their use can lead to obesity in which case the normal cholesterol can not be. Choose vegetable oils first cold pressed (not refined!) That it is desirable not to use for cooking, and add to the already ready-made meals.
Confectionery and bakery products. Replace ordinary bread and a loaf with bread from wheat flour, bran or whole grain. Often buy or cook bread and crackers on rye flour, add the sprouts and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, poppy ...). Shops cakes, muffins and cookies - are banned!
Beverages. It is undesirable to drink coffee with cream, coffee-glace, cappuccino, cocoa, milk and alcohol. Prefer properly brewed tea without sugar, better the green, natural freshly squeezed juices, mineral water and pure drinking water without additives.
Separate conversation about industrial mayonnaise, ketchup and other sauces, margarine and other trans-fats, all kinds of chips, salted nuts to beer, chocolate bars, semi-finished products and fast food. And this conversation is very short – say resounding "NO!" to all this chemistry.
Some products are able to reduce the level of harmful cholesterol in the blood. To clear the blood vessels from plaque, you need to correct your menu.
Carrot. According to studies, only two carrots per day for two months reducing the level of harmful cholesterol in blood by 15%. Additional bonuses:
Those who want to have healthy teeth and gums need to eat carrot. Carrots remarkably cleans enamel from food residues and cope with the microbes that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Fresh carrots are often included in the diet of people suffering from liver disease, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease. Useful vegetable helps to prevent the aggravation of these diseases.
Tomatoes. Bright red tomato pigment called lycopene is now "cholesteol antidote." Scientists believe that only 25 mg of lycopene per day will save you from a tenth of cholesterol in the blood. To ensure yourself this "dose" is enough to drink two glasses of tomato juice.
Additional bonuses: Tomatoes have a lot of potassium. This trace mineral supports tone heart muscle.
Garlic. Its cholesterol-lowering effect of garlic is obliged substance called alliin. It gives the sharpness and odor to garlic. By itself alliin does not make the body much good. Once you start to cut, crush or chew the garlic, alliin is converted to allicin, which cleans the blood vessels from plaque.
Additional bonuses: Thanks to allicin, garlic has become a favorite vegetable bodybuilders. This substance helps to build muscle mass. Of course, it is not so effective as steroids, but with no harm to the body. Also allicin can improve brain function, normalize the functioning of the nervous system and increase efficiency. Burning vegetable normalizes blood pressure.
Nuts. People who on average per day to eat 60 grams of nuts, noted a drop in the overall level of blood cholesterol by 5%. The higher the initial concentration of bad cholesterol, the greater "operated" nuts. Body mass index is also influenced the effectiveness of "nut diet": the smaller the overweight, the higher was the healing effect. Additional bonuses: All varieties of nuts contain vitamins A, E and group B, and a set of trace elements such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron.
Peas. If you eat just one and a half cup of cooked peas a day for three weeks, the level of bad cholesterol drop by 20%. Additional bonuses: The main wealth of peas - an abundance of B vitamins, which are necessary for the smooth functioning of the nervous system, beautiful hair, and deep sleep. Scientists have found in this vegetable a lot of antioxidants - substances that slow aging and protect the body from the adverse effects of the environment.
Oily fish. Acids Omega 3, which is so rich in fish oils, effectively compete with cholesterol deposits. Additional bonuses: Fish, like meat - a great supplier of animal protein needed by the body. Fish contains a set of trace elements: phosphorus and fluorine (get rid of extra visits to the dentist), potassium (resulting in normal blood pressure) and selenium (strengthens the immune system and save you from frequent mood swings).
Summing up, we can say that the products, which increase cholesterol - are products with a lot of saturated fat. All recommendations are going to the principles of healthy eating. If your blood cholesterol level is higher than normal levels, food can will be an excellent treatment.
- 5 mmol /l or less - this is the best indicator of the level of cholesterol in the blood;
- 5 - 6.4 mmol /l - slightly elevated level;
- 6.5 - 7.8 mmol /l - the level of cholesterol in the blood is close to the critical one;
- 7.8 mmol /l or higher - your life is in danger.
Risk factors associated with high levels of cholesterol in the blood include obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and heredity. All, except, perhaps, inheritance, you can change. Take care of yourself.
- READ ALSO: What food to avoid with high cholesterol?