Eat right to con­trol bad choles­terol

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - My City - An­jali Muk­er­jee

M ost adults have high choles­terol lev­els. Strangely, we do not usu­ally worry too much about heart dis­eases un­til we are in the mid­dle age. But, adults as young as 20, need to watch choles­terol be­cause high lev­els of LDL or bad choles­terol are likely to cause the de­vel­op­ment of heart dis­ease. By eat­ing healthy foods, which have choles­terol low­er­ing ef­fects, we can re­duce the risk of de­vel­op­ing heart dis­ease. Fol­low­ing are the top three foods that have ben­e­fits for peo­ple with high choles­terol.

Oats: Be­gin your day with a bowl of hot oat­meal in the morn­ing with nuts and fruits. It makes for a fill­ing and healthy break­fast. Ground oat­meal can be added to soups. Oat bran can also be mixed with wheat flour and rolled into cha­p­at­tis.

Fish: Salmon, tuna, sar­dines and mack­erel help re­duce triglyc­eride, re­duce blood pres­sure and de­crease blood clots. Two serv­ings of oily fish per week are rec­om­mended. Omega-3 fatty acids present in fish lower triglyc­eride lev­els and raise the good choles­terol in the body. Bake or grill the fish to avoid adding un­healthy fats. If you do not eat fish, get the omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed or canola oil.

Soya: Con­sum­ing at least 25 grams of soy­bean helps re­duce to­tal choles­terol. Soy­beans have low glycemic in­dex. They help lower in­sulin lev­els and nor­malise blood sugar. Work­out reg­u­larly: Ex­er­cis­ing reg­u­larly re­duces triglyc­erides. It helps strengthen heart, bones and other mus­cles of the body, be­sides weight loss. There is no need to do stren­u­ous ex­er­cises. Walk­ing, swim­ming, yoga, bi­cy­cling, jog­ging, aer­o­bics can be in­cluded in your daily regime. If you have time con­straints, just walk three times a week for one hour or six times a week for half-an-hour. Smok­ing in­creases bad choles­terol or LDL. HDL or good choles­terol moves the bad choles­terol away from the ar­ter­ies to the liver, from where it is elim­i­nated from the body. Smok­ing, how­ever, de­creases this HDL choles­terol in the body, thus in­creas­ing the risk of heart dis­ease. There is an im­me­di­ate drop in bad choles­terol and in­crease in good choles­terol af­ter quit­ting smok­ing, lead­ing to bet­ter health and safe guard­ing against heart dis­eases. Los­ing weight is not only im­por­tant for low­er­ing choles­terol but is an im­por­tant part of im­prov­ing over­all health. Eat five to six small meals a day. Switch to whole wheat bread, brown rice and re­duce re­fined carbs such as sugar and white flour. Eat veg­eta­bles, olive oil, nuts, oats and bar­ley. Drink green tea. Man­age stress with yoga, med­i­ta­tion and catch­ing up with your hob­bies.

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