Cholesterol has become a household name by the time you hit your late 30s. This is what is produced in the liver, and is needed for the production of bile acids, vitamins, and hormones. Cholesterol is carried by the bloodstream as it doesn’t get easily dissolved in blood.
To be transported by the bloodstream, the cholesterol is packed in two types of carriers: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL cholesterol can be considered as the good cholesterol that is limited in quantity, but the high LDL cholesterol is what is the ‘bad’ cholesterol and can increase exponentially the risk of heart attacks.
HDL is commonly controlled by statins. High levels of cholesterol are not caused by the deficiency in statins, but more so the dietary factors. If your diet is rich in animal foods and fibers are absent, then it could spell trouble for you.
Dietary Changes That Can Help You Reduce Cholesterol
Your diet needs to be devoid of animal products, to as much of an extent as possible. Moving towards a plant-based diet can help you loads in reversing the effects of high cholesterol and reduce it comparatively.
Of the plant-based foods that need to be there on your plate, soluble fibers have a reserved place. Soluble fibers combine with water to form a gel. This gel moves through your large and small intestine. Much of the bile salts, dietary cholesterol, and fats that are lodged along the length of the intestine is ‘grabbed’ by utilizing the soluble fibers. These are then excreted and completely flushed out from the body.
Foods such as hummus, bean soup, lentils are rich in soluble fibers. You can also kick start your day with barley and oats, as these are high in soluble fiber. There are soluble fiber-rich veggies as well in the form of carrots, eggplants, potatoes; along with dark leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach. Certain fruits such as strawberries, apples, grapes, and citrus fruits have pectin – this is a soluble fiber that works to bind fat molecules to it.
Whole soy products like tempeh, tofu can be used as a replacement for meats, and this substantially reduces the intake of saturated fats and cholesterol. Several clinical tests have found the LDL levels in the body to have reduced considerably after switching to a plant-based diet.
If you want to take life into your own hands and reverse the damage dealt due to bad eating habits, then going plant-based will help you!