The previous article contains a lot of information about cholesterol itself, primarily facts and myths associated with it. In addition, it indicates the positive and negative effects of this compound on the body. This text, however, aims to make you aware of how you can easily change your LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and HDL (“good cholesterol”) levels.
Overweight raises LDL levels
Caring for a healthy body weight has generally beneficial effects on HDL and LDL in various studies, causing an increase in HDL and a decrease in LDL. Moreover, weight loss reduces the amount of total cholesterol by inhibiting the effect on hepatic synthesis and better absorption of this compound from the diet. Excessive body weight causes inflammation, because it increases the concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body. It is usually accompanied by hypertension, which has a similar effect (damages the vascular endothelium).
Cigarettes and alcohol are definitely harmful.
Sometimes you can hear that alcohol consumed in small quantities has some good effect on the body. Cigarettes are much less widely spoken about. In fact, both products have a pro-inflammatory effect, exacerbating the symptoms of diseases, e.g. enteritis, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases as well as atherosclerosis and many others.
Certainly, the complete cessation of the use of alcohol and tobacco products will pay off significantly in health.
Healthy fats in the diet.
In general, you should not be afraid of fats in your diet, because they are among the basic macronutrients that condition the proper functioning of the body. Inclusion of especially monounsaturated fats in the daily menu will reduce the LDL fraction while maintaining HDL. Such products mainly include olive oil and avocados. Omega 3 fatty acids contained in fish and vegetable fats have a similar effect.
Of course, you must remember to buy the least processed products, because they lose their value and become toxic. Omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids oxidized during frying are the main component of atherosclerotic plaque.
It is recommended to use unrefined vegetable oils when cooking because they contain antioxidants. A simultaneous supplementation with vitamin C is a good idea. Oils consumed in such company have a number of health-promoting functions, including those described above.
Saturated so-called animal fats are much more thermally stable and harder to oxidize. Contrary to what is commonly accepted, they do not pose a threat to the development of atherosclerosis. In addition, the fat contained in butter is easily digested by the body, does not burden the liver and works great as a source of energy.
It is well known that a person needs various vitamins for life. It is worth stopping for a moment with the topic of B vitamins, especially if we are talking about atherosclerosis. The vast majority of older people do cholesterol tests that don’t really help much. Thus, homocysteine tests can “say” much more.
It is a compound that has a cytotoxic effect on vascular endothelium and significantly increases the chances of developing atherosclerosis.
For its utilization, B vitamins are needed. First of all, cobalamin (B12), folic acid (B9) and pyridoxine (B6) are important. They are responsible for the correct distribution of homocysteine to safe methionine and cysteine. People with methylation disorders may need a specialized form of these vitamins (reduced forms).
Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus – probiotic bacteria.
The invaluable properties of probiotic bacteria in terms of bowel function and the immune system have already been described in previous articles. Interestingly, it turns out that some probiotic bacteria of the genus Lactobacillus support cholesterol utilization. They impede the reabsorption of this compound, interrupting the hepatic-intestinal cycle. In addition, probiotic bacteria produce B group vitamins in their metabolic processes, which support the breakdown of homocysteine and vitamin K2 conditioning the proper absorption of calcium. Vitamin K2 deficiency can lead to calcification of the arteries (hypercalcaemia).
Plant sterols and stanols.
There are many popular products that hinder cholesterol reabsorption. People who have cholesterol of 250 mg / dL and higher should definitely reach for it. These include products rich in sterols and stanols: hazelnuts, walnuts, pumpkin, peas, sprouts, corn, broad beans, celery, calendula. A beneficial effect is also shown by products containing fiber which is particularly soluble in water and which binds cholesterol in the intestine: citrus fruits, apples, zucchini, leafy vegetables, etc.
Physical effort fights LDL.
Research shows that any type of exercise improves cholesterol and promotes heart health. The longer and more intense the exercise, the greater the benefit. After just a few weeks of exercise, you will notice a decrease in LDL lipoprotein and an increase in HDL.
Statins as a last resort.
Unfortunately, the most common way to improve cholesterol balance is by “medication” commonly assigned by doctors. Statins cause a number of side effects and should be used if already by critically ill people. In addition, a better alternative to statins are drugs with similar effects but with much smaller side effects, which can also be attributed by the doctor, which are ion exchange resins.