The word "cholesterol" plunges many people into awe: we firmly believe that cholesterol is harmful, and the point! Is cholesterol harmful, as it is commonly believed? What is the normal level of cholesterol in the blood? How to lower cholesterol in the blood, if there is such a need?
Cholesterol level in the blood: myths and misconceptions
Cholesterol is a natural fatty alcohol (lipid). It is found in the cellular membranes of the vast majority of living organisms. After viewing the ad on TV, it may seem that the main source of cholesterol is food. Actually, with food in our body comes only about 20% of cholesterol, the rest of the cholesterol is produced by internal organs.
Cholesterol is very important for the normal functioning of the body. It ensures the stability of cell membranes,promotes the production of vitamin D and various hormones, is important for the normal functioning of the nervous and immune systems. Where did the opinion that cholesterol is harmful?
The fact is that the necessary substances to the tissues of the body come with blood. Cholesterol is insoluble in water, so water-based blood can not tolerate it. For cholesterol transport serve special protein transporters. Cholesterol forms complex compounds with them - lipoproteins. They are soluble in water and can be carried with blood.
Different groups of lipoproteins have different effects on the human body. Thus, low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are called "Bad" lipoproteins. They are poorly soluble in water, so they can precipitate cholesterol crystals. It is LDL - the "culprits" of atherosclerotic plaques.
A high-density lipoprotein (HDL) - "Good" lipoproteins. They dissolve well and do not precipitate cholesterol. The high content of HDL in the blood - the norm for a healthy body, they are useful for the body.
So not all cholesterol is equally harmful. The harm of cholesterol really means harm to "bad" lipoproteins, and speaking about the level of cholesterol in the blood, we mean the level of LDL.
How to lower the level of cholesterol in the blood?
The level of cholesterol in the blood (meaning "bad" cholesterol) is affected by several factors. Some of them are various diseases (endocrine disorders, kidney and liver diseases). But in most cases, a high level of cholesterol in the blood - a consequence of an incorrect lifestyle. The increase in the level of "bad" lipoproteins is affected by:
insufficient physical activity, lack of exercise;
How to lower cholesterol in the blood? If a violation of lipid metabolism and an increase in the level of LDL caused by the disease, then you need to treat the disease itself. But most often the key to normalizing cholesterol is healthy lifestyle: regular physical activity, rejection of bad habits, weight loss.
In addition, you need adjust your diet. The level of "bad" cholesterol in the blood increasesproducts with a high content of cholesterol, saturated animal fats and "fast" carbohydrates. Such products include fatty meat and sausage products, fat, sweets and confectionery products, by-products, animal fats, smoked products, fatty dairy products, and the like.
At an elevated level of cholesterol should be removed for a time from their diet, having preferred the following products:
poultry meat (except duck), veal, beef, lean pork;
fruit (preferably citrus fruits);
Nuts (except for coconut);
vegetable margarine or low-calorie butter;
low-fat dairy products;
from drinks - tea, natural juices, mineral water.
The best thing cook foods without fat: steamed, grilled, baked, boiled or stewed. Reduce the consumption of eggs: no more than two per week, no more than one egg yolk per day.
When the level of "bad" cholesterol drops to normal, you can gradually introduce into the diet products that have been abandoned. But they should be a supplement to the diet, and not make it the basis!