We just love indulging in all things greasy, fried and decadent; don't we? Today, burgers, pizzas, chips and sodas have become an unavoidable part of our lives. While eating junk food at times is okay, the problem arises when our temptation goes out of control. Eating excess amounts of fried and junk foods leads to several lifestyle diseases - high cholesterol being one such instance. If you look around, you will find high cholesterol is one of the most common conditions faced by people of today's generation. There are two types of cholesterol in the human body - HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol). When LDL level increases, it affects our heart health. This is why experts suggest keeping a check on our cholesterol levels for healthy living. Consultant nutritionist Rupali Datta suggests, "Your daily diet plays an important role in attaining and maintaining your health goals. High cholesterol can be prevented and effectively controlled by a combination of a good diet, regular exercise, ideal body weight and an overall healthy lifestyle."
How Food Plays A Significant Role In Managing Body's Cholesterol Level:
A new study, conducted by researchers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and Richardson Centre at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, found that for several individuals "food for medicine" approach can be as effective as medications for lowering cholesterol levels, without adapting to any drastic lifestyle change. The findings were published in the 'Journal of Nutrition'.
The participants of the study were given foods that are rich in fibre, plant sterols, ALA omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. The food options ranged from chocolate bars to strawberry-banana smoothies and walnuts. After 30 days, it was found that no cholesterol reductions were seen during this phase.
Explaining the findings, Stephen Kopecky, cardiologist and Director of the Statin Intolerance Clinic at Mayo Clinic stated that using food as a medicine approach "expands the options for medical professionals and patients." He added, "Many patients who are unwilling or unable to take statin drugs may be able to help manage their high cholesterol, or hyperlipidemia with a realistic food-based intervention."
Here're 5 Everyday Foods To Lower Cholesterol Levels In Body:
Amla is one of the richest sources of vitamin C, minerals and amino acids. According to a study, published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology, it is found that amla helps reduce cholesterol levels of the body. Besides, amla is found to provide the additional benefit of protection against atherosclerosis and CAD (coronary artery disease).
2. Green Tea
Green tea is a rich source of polyphenols. According to Rupali Datta, "Green tea has the highest concentration of polyphenols associated with not only lowering LDL Cholesterol but also increasing HDL Cholesterol."
Lemon (or any citrus fruit) is loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants that help flush out toxins and reduce the body's inflammation. According to the book 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing, "Citrus fruits contain hesperidin, which can reduce symptoms of hypertension and pectin (fibre) and limonoid compounds. These factors can slow atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries) and reduce "unhealthy" (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. Antioxidant flavones can also lower the risk of strokes in women."
Spinach is loaded with several essential nutrients. It is one popular food in our kitchen pantry and helps benefit our overall health. According to experts, spinach contains carotenoids which are known to lower cholesterol levels in the body.
A study conducted by the University of California found that eating a walnut-rich diet can be effective in losing weight and improving cholesterol levels. The research further found that a diet containing walnuts, which primarily comprise polyunsaturated fats, positively impacts heart health markers too.
Now that you know the foods that help manage cholesterol levels, we suggest, including them in your daily diet and enjoy overall health. Always remember, moderation is the key. According to health experts, one should not consume more than 300 grams of cholesterol every day. And if you are having high cholesterol, limit the intake to less than 200 grams daily.
We also bring you some foods that people with high cholesterol should avoid. Click here to know more.
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.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.