How to Reduce High Cholesterol Levels with Your Diet
It’s essential to know how to reduce high cholesterol levels with your diet only when your bloodstream numbers are above average because it can be hazardous to your health.
Cholesterol is a fundamental fat for our organism and is present in almost all our body. It plays a central role in our cells in the manufacture of sex hormones, the so-called corticosteroids, and vitamin D.
The Risk of High Cholesterol Rates
There is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease when high cholesterol levels are found, the leading cause of death in the United States.
High rates increase the chances of experiencing heart attacks or strokes or having angina pectoris due to insufficient blood supply to any part of the heart, especially under stress or strain.
Due to inadequate diets and inactivity, excessive body weight is a determining factor in hypercholesterolemia cases.
There are other factors capable of influencing the increase of cholesterol, such as certain addictions, liver, endocrine, and kidney diseases or the administration of certain medications, without forgetting the genetic or inherited predisposition to this worrying disease.
Treatment of High Cholesterol Levels
In the treatment of this disease, a change in lifestyle based on a healthy diet is essential to correct excess weight and eliminate alcohol intake, stress, and the practice of regular physical exercise. These are necessary conditions for its treatment while recognizing that, in some cases, the use of medication is required.
The diet, as practiced in the Mediterranean diet, should be based on products such as fruits and vegetables; whole grains such as bread, pasta, and rice; legumes, at least three portions per week; fish, preferably blue fish, such as sardines, horse mackerel or tuna, three or four portions per week; nuts such as peanuts, sesame, walnuts, and almonds, and virgin olive oil, daily.
These foods provide nutrients that help reduce blood levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol known as LDL-cholesterol and increase the so-called ‘good’ cholesterol or HDL-cholesterol.
They provide monounsaturated fatty acids such as in extra virgin olive oil, polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 in fish, and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables.
At the same time, foods that include abundant fat that is harmful to the heart should be avoided.
Whole milk products should be replaced by skimmed ones; butter or margarine by vegetable oils such as olive oil, and fatty meats by low-fat meats such as rabbit or skinless chicken.
Junk food should be avoided altogether. Up to four egg yolks can be consumed per week, and never more than one yolk per day.
The cholesterol-lowering food pattern will help you lose weight at the same time. Keeping the ideal body weight is essential for controlling blood cholesterol levels.
Certain foods provide our body with a higher amount of ‘bad’ cholesterol, such as trans fats or foods rich in saturated fats like red meat, sausages, butter, cream, or coconut or palm oils, an integral ingredient of ice cream.
Healthy Ways to Cook to Control Cholesterol
To reduce and keep healthy blood cholesterol levels, low-fat cooking methods such as baking, broiling, grilling, microwaving, roasting, or steaming are recommended. These cooking methods also help to achieve or maintain healthy body weight.
Other Factors that Help to Regulate Cholesterol Rates
Physical exercise is beneficial in lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol and raising the ‘good’ one. It should be aerobic, of low or medium intensity, but of a specific duration. It is advisable to exercise for at least 40 minutes every day.
You must control the anxiety and chronic stress of daily life and eliminate all toxic addictions.
Healthy Recipes for Cholesterol Control
Cabbage and Garlic Smoothie
1/2 medium-size cabbage
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of water
- Chop the garlic and put it in the blender together with the cabbage, previously washed and chopped, adding 1/2 cup of water to help the blending.
- Beat all the ingredients, store in the refrigerator, and drink a cup of this blend daily.
Carrot, Parsley and Spinach Juice
4 medium-size carrots
3 branches of parsley
10 spinach leaves
4 cups of water
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and take a small cup of the mixture on an empty stomach and after each meal for 15 days.
Vegetable Chop Suey
The secret of a good vegetable Chop Suey recipe is that all the ingredients acquire a similar texture without being overcooked or hard.
1/2 pound soybean sprouts
1 green pepper
2 medium-size carrots
2 medium-size onions
1/2 pound pumpkin
2 ounces of peas
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon ginger
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup vegetable broth
- Wash and cut all the ingredients.
- Chop the onions into quarters and each quarter in half.
- Grate the carrots.
- Slice the pumpkin, cut the green pepper into strips, and chop the garlic.
- In a frying pan with a little virgin olive oil, sauté the garlic, ginger, and onion over medium heat for one minute and then add the pumpkin, carrot, and green pepper.
- Sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Add the soybean sprouts and peas.
- Add the soy sauce and vegetable broth, cook for about 4 minutes, and ready to serve.
1 pound of white fish fillets
4 cups of fish stock
3 tablespoons of tomato puree
1 chopped carrot
1 chopped potato
1 red or green pepper, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 slices of bread
4 branches of parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
Salt and ground pepper to taste
- In a pot, heat 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil over medium heat, fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, frequently stirring until the onion becomes transparent.
- Toast the bread lightly in a toaster, break it up into crumbs and add it with the rest of the vegetables, except the parsley, season with salt and pepper, and stir-fry for 4 minutes.
- Add the tomato puree, mix everything, and immediately add the 4 cups of fish stock.
- Cover the pot and let the soup cook for 20 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, fry the fish, seasoned and cut into pieces in a pan with a spoonful of virgin olive oil, for a couple of minutes on each side and set aside.
- When the soup is ready, blend it, return it to the pot, add the fish, correct the seasoning and let it cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Serve and decorate with chopped parsley and a little bit of virgin olive oil.
This soup is delicious, and in addition to the properties of the fish, provides those of the vegetables.