Cholesterol is a fatty substance present in the human body, 80% of which is manufactured by the liver. The other 20% comes from your diet such as meat, eggs and dairy products. We have always considered cholesterol to be bad. But that is not the case; there are two types of cholesterol, good cholesterol – HDL (High-density lipoproteins) and bad cholesterol – LDL (Low-density lipoproteins). High levels of LDL cholesterol present in the body enter the inner walls of the arteries and harden it, leading to coronary artery disease. Similarly, high levels of HDL cholesterol minimize the harmful effects of LDL cholesterol. Some measurements you can keep in mind to maintain healthy LDL cholesterol level.
Less than 100 mg/dL would be optimal
100 to 129 mg/dL is near optimal/ above optimal
130 to 159 mg/dL is borderline high
160 to 189 mg/dL is considered high
190 mg/dL and above is very high
Regular check up or screening of your cholesterol level is very important. It is recommended for men and women of 20 years or above to get the test done every five years. This kind of screening helps to keep your health in check. It also helps if the patient has a family history of diseases like diabetes, obesity or cardiovascular disease.
Tips to remember:
* Do your exercises regularly to keep your heart healthy. It also helps in burning out the excess fat you have been carrying around.
* Avoid trans fatty acids like French fries, cookies, cakes and many other fried fast foods.
* Consume fewer carbohydrates by avoiding sugar, flour, potatoes and white rice.
* Avoid food which contains too much cholesterol like egg yolk, liver, kidney, brain etc.
* Stop smoking, it increases HDL levels by seven points.
* Natural Ways to Increase HDL
* Red wine consumed in reasonable quantity gives a positive result. It contains antioxidants such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir that slows down oxidation of HDL and LDL cholesterol. By drinking wine HDL level does not shoot up, but it contains higher level of various types of blood fats, thus making it useful for the body.
* Drinking orange juice every day increases HDL level by nearly 21%. This is possible due to the presence of flavonoids. Kidney and red beans are another source to increase HDL level. They contain low-glycemic carbohydrates which do not require insulin spikes during digestion.
* Eating fish several times a week is very useful in increasing HDL level as it contains omega-3 fatty acids. Fishes like sardine, salmon, sea bass, herring and many more are some of the sources of good cholesterol. If you do not like fish, you can have fish oil supplements.
* Olive oil contains the highest number of mono-saturated fats. Having 1-2 teaspoons in your daily diet would help you tremendously. Oat bran lowers LDL and increases HDL. Studies have shown that two ounces of oat bran per day helps in reducing 16% LDL and 15% increase in HDL.
* Half raw onion per day increases HDL level by 30%. Soy products increase HDL level thereby decreasing LDL.
* Soluble fiber found in fruits like apples, grapes and citrus fruits are useful in increasing HDL level.
* Guggul lipid a native herb used mainly for Ayurvedic medicine also helps in maintaining healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Green tea lowers LDL levels by increasing HDL levels. Eat more fiber and include raw garlic in your diet, these are very useful in lowering cholesterol levels.
Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.