For a sound health and heart maintaining a healthy cholesterol level is of elementary importance. In medical terms cholesterol is a steroid fat which is produced in the liver or the intestines. Producing hormones and cell membranes is the primary function of it and in all the mammals it is transported in the blood plasma. It is an essential component in mammalian cell membranes and is also required to establish proper membrane permeability and fluidity.
Although cholesterol is necessary for mammals, high amount of cholesterol in the blood can damage the arteries and is potentially linked to diseases associated with the cardiovascular system.
A healthy cholesterol level
A minimum of 40mg/dl of HDL or good cholesterol is considered as a healthy cholesterol level. While, for the LDL or the bad cholesterol, a maximum of 200mg/dl is considered as healthy and anything different from these numbers require immediate attention to bring the levels back to the normal.
For people aged twenty years or older it is recommended to test blood cholesterol level after every five years. As both high and low cholesterol levels are a threat to your health and both can result in serious health hazards it is important to properly regulate it.
Abnormally low level of cholesterol seems to be the consequence of an underlying illness and often suggests links with depression, cerebral hemorrhage or sometimes cancer also. On the other hand high level of bad cholesterol in the blood may be a cause of heart attack as it blocks the arteries and disrupt normal blood circulation.
Maintain a good cholesterol level
To maintain a healthy cholesterol level the first thing you have to do is to undergo regular cholesterol checks which will keep you informed about the condition all the time and prompt precautions can be taken if necessary. Though cholesterol level is not related with weight still it is recommended to watch your weight as obesity is often found as a reason behind the presence of high level of bad cholesterol in the blood. But there is no guarantee that a slim person or even the under weights have a healthy cholesterol level and they also can suffer the same.
Bad cholesterol is normally found in trans and saturated fats and you should read all the food levels before buying them to ensure that you do not consume those particular types of fats. Foods like egg, poultry, milk and butter also contain cholesterol and the fact is that it is impossible to avoid all the foods that contain cholesterol. However, what you can do is to control and minimize the consumption of those particular foods to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.
You can have freshly prepared animal products as they contain harmless cholesterol more often and it is better to avoid cholesterol in dried milk or aged cheese because they are oxidized and harmful for your health. Your liver naturally makes cholesterol worth seven eggs per day and if you consume more cholesterol than your liver produces, it is going to produce less. As long as the right antioxidant protects your body cholesterol it is quite fine with the health.
With a balanced level of cholesterol in the blood you can have optimal health as due to the presence of high amount of oxidants in the air the cholesterol in the blood may oxidize and cause serious health hazards.
Foods to avoid
If the cholesterol level in your body is already high, it is better to avoid certain foods such as egg yolk, liver and whole milk dairy products. As cholesterol comes from animals, all the foods that come from animals contain cholesterol. Fruits and vegetables do not contain it at all. Eggs and animal liver are the foods that have the highest amount of cholesterol as there is 213 mg of cholesterol present in an egg yolk.
Other high cholesterol foods that one should avoid are butter, cream, cream cheese and ice cream, certain shellfishes like shrimp and especially organ meats like kidney or brain. Duck and goose meat has more cholesterol compared to chicken and turkey and the skins of these birds are extremely rich in cholesterol and must be avoided.
Cholesterol fighting Foods
When you have cholesterol, everyone seems to come with a list of foods that you should not take, but there are few who tell you what food to eat to fight against it in a natural way. Nearly all the fresh fruits such as bananas, apples, water melons and oranges are good to bring down the level of cholesterol in the blood as fruits are low in saturated fats and contain no cholesterol at all.
A regular consumption of these fruits will help you to lower your cholesterol level and flush the toxic elements out of your body. Apples are exceptionally rich in antioxidants and fibre that is very effective to lower the level of bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol. Fresh vegetables are also helpful but the best ones to fight against cholesterol are the dark green vegetables like spinach, ladyfinger and broccoli.
These of vegetables are particularly rich in iron, protein and antioxidants that purify the blood, lower your cholesterol and help you to keep your weight in check. Fish is also a very good diet to as they contain Omega 3 fatty acids that help preventing blood clotting and the vitamin B3 lower the bad cholesterol in your body.
Black beans, dal, kala channa and rajma also contains high amount of dietary fibre along with brown rice, oat meal and white bread and are very effective to keep your cholesterol under control as all of them contain vitamin B and E, fibre, iron, magnesium and other antioxidants. Walnut, peanuts and cashews are also known to help to decrease bad cholesterol, however keep a check on the quantity of the nuts that you eat every day.
Along with all these a little change in the cooking process can really help you to bring your cholesterol back to normal. Try to bake, boil, grill or shallow fry your food with minimum oil while roasts and poached foods are also very good options. So maintain your diet intelligently, eat a lot of food and still keep your cholesterol under control.