Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance found in all the cells in our body. It is found in food originated from animals such as beef, eggs, cheese sardines, yogurt, shrimp, liver, etc. nutritional specialists advise that we consume no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol in our diet every day, 200milligram if you had a risk of heart disease. It’s a known fact that foods rich in cholesterol taste better than cholesterol-free dishes which is why we tend to crave them more.
Excessive intake of foods rich in high cholesterol is detrimental to the health, therefore it is advisable to eat foods that are low in cholesterol to prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in the body. Such food includes; nuts, apples, grapes, strawberries, citrus, beans, eggplant, okra, oatmeal, oranges, banana peels, and so on. Basically cereals, fruits, and legumes should be added to our diet to replace foods that are high in cholesterol.
Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, production of some essential body nutrient, serve as a building block for body tissue, produce hormones like estrogen and also assist in the production of bile in the liver but we run the risk of high cholesterol level when the body stores up fats in our blood vessel and as a result causes many severe health issues. Some common symptoms of high cholesterol levels in our body include; nausea, chest pain, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, and chest pain.
Xanthoma (a yellowish patch or lump underneath the skin) usually hereditary is passed from parents to offspring and causes high cholesterol called familial hypercholesterolemia.
Excess fat in the body does a lot of harm to the body and in some cases causes untimely death. Some major problems associated with high cholesterol level includes;
- Clogging in the circulatory system: over-accumulation of fat in the body system hinders the flow of blood in the arteries and forces the heart to pump harder which causes heart diseases over time.
- Excess fat in the body causes high blood pressure which is linked to other chronic diseases.
- Excess cholesterol causes arteries linked to the brain to come clogged and narrow and can lead to disruption in the blood flow and damage part of the brain which causes stroke and leads to memory loss, headache, blurred vision, and oversensitivity to light.
- Excess availability of cholesterol in the production of bile and causes the unused cholesterol to form crystals and stones in the gall bladder. It causes severe stomach pain due to enlarged liver or spleen.
- Some cases of diabetes are linked to high cholesterol, especially cases of type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes sometimes have low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and in some cases have increased triacylglycerides and decreases high-density lipoprotein.
- Excess cholesterol in our diet increases body mass index and causes obesity and overweight.
The next time you are about to consume several pounds of thanksgiving turkey or garage barbecue, think twice about what it is going to do to your body in the near future and make a wise decision of taking them in the right quantity.
There are several ways to reduce cholesterol in the body in order to improve your heart health;
- Increase soluble fiber intakes such as beans, peas, vegetable lentils nuts, barley, oat, fruits, and vegetable. These soluble fibers attach to the cholesterol and bind them to the small intestine thereby preventing them from entering the bloodstream, hence exiting the body through the anus.
- Always be mindful of fat intake, watching your diet is another method that has proven very effective in combating high cholesterol level also it is advised that you consume more fruits and vegetables as they contain more nutrients that assist in bodybuilding and cellular regeneration.
- Pomegranate juice is very effective in lowering fat levels, it contains antioxidants at a higher level than many other fruit juices thereby providing several heart-protecting benefits including reducing low-density lipoprotein.
- A moderate increase in physical activity has been known to raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Exercise regularly, at least 30-40 minutes of intense exercise like running, weight lifting, skipping, brisk walking, riding a bike, playing a favorite sport most days of the week will reduce storing of fats in the body will also increase blood flow and brain metabolism.
- Moderate intake of alcohol for those that take alcohol; limiting your alcohol intake to one bottle per day is advisable because excess alcohol in the system leads to various health problems including heart diseases, and stroke.
- Avoid consuming saturated fats; they are found in red meat and full-fat dairy product. saturated fats are known to change the way our liver handles cholesterol by inhibiting low-density lipoprotein activity and enhancing apolipoprotein (APO0)B-containing lipoprotein production.