Why do we require cholesterol?
While we’ve been taught to be afraid of cholesterol, we actually require it in order to function properly . In fact, it’s vital to our lives. This is because cholesterol is essential to build cell walls, making hormones such as testosterone and oestrogen that help repair nerves, producing bile , which allows us to absorb and digest the fats we consume and make the’sunshine vitamin called vitamin D. Furthermore cholesterol boosts memory and makes you feel better as it produces the mood-enhancing hormone serotonin.
How can I tell whether I have healthy cholesterol?
The blood fats, which includes cholesterol levels can be determined by simple blood tests performed through your GP. Find out more information about getting your cholesterol measured through the NHS website. You should ask your GP for a cholesterol test if you have not had a test before and you’re over 40, if you’re overweight, high cholesterol or heart problems run in your family, or you have a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia.
What are the triglycerides?
Cholesterol isn’t the sole kind of fat that’s found in your blood. If you’ve taken an analysis of your blood to assess your cholesterol, it’s likely to have been informed of your triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are the most common form of fats that exist in our bodies and we utilize for energy storage within our cells. The excess of this fat found in blood cells is a significant independent risk factor for heart illness.
Do the fats you eat increase cholesterol levels?
In addition to cholesterol, fat has always been considered to be a threat. Saturated fat is often denigrated because it is associated with cardiovascular diseases along with high cholesterol. Butter, red meat cheese, burgers, cheese and sausages are rich in saturated fats such as ghee, coconut oil and palm oils. A diet that is high in saturated fats may increase blood fats, such as the triglycerides, and increase your risk of being overweight and heart disease, as well as type 2 diabetes, and stroke. However, new research suggests that saturated fats present in some foods like dairy products, such as cheese, aren’t believed to be as damaging as we was believed. This could be due to other dairy-related nutrients including calcium may alter the blood fats like triglycerides. What dietary factors should be considered for heart health?
More evidence suggests that we should avoid eating refined sugars and refined carbs as the reason for inflammation, increased levels of insulin, elevated blood pressure, and elevated Triglyceride and cholesterol levels. It is likely that you’ve been exposed to man-made fats, also known as trans fats. These are unsaturated fats found in our diet that behave as saturated fats but are more harmful since the body isn’t able to recognize these fats. They’re commonly often found in processed food items and takeaways , and are the most dangerous kind of fat that can raise cholesterol levels. Avoid them by cooking your food as much as you can from scratch , and also by checking the labels for hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated , and semi hydrogenated vegetable fats , or shortening.
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What are the criteria for low fat and high fat in a packaged item?
High: greater than 17.5g of fat per 100g. (Packaging could be color-coded with red)
Low 3g of fat or less than 100g. (Packaging could be color-coded green)
Check for’saturates”, or “sat fat’ on the label. It indicates the amount of saturated fat present in your food.
High: greater than 5g of saturates per 100g. (Packaging could be colour-coded in red)
Lower: 1.5g saturates or less per 100g. (Packaging could be colour-coded green)
If the quantity of saturated fat or fat per 100g is between these numbers, it’s moderate, and packaging can be colour coded amber.
Dietary items that reduce cholesterol
There are certain food items that are particularly beneficial to the heart, and you should be sure to include these foods into your routine diet. Here are some ideas:
1. Incorporate healthy fats and reduce saturated fats.
In general, try to have your diet to be rich in mono-unsaturated fat as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which means things like seeds, nuts avocado, avocado, and olive oil and up to two portion of fish that is oily (such as mackerel, sardines as well as trout and salmon) every week. A Mediterranean-style diet is an excellent one to try.
It is important that you must adhere with Reference Intakes (RI) – the recommended daily amounts for nutrients such as fats. You should aim to not have more than 1/3 of the fats that you consume daily being saturated, the rest being healthy fats, including the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats within olive oil, oil from rapeseed avocado, nuts that are not salted and seeds.
2. Incorporate dairy-based foods in moderation
There’s no reason to be too concerned about dairy since the fats found in these foods aren’t as detrimental to blood cholesterol levels as initially was believed, so long as you consume moderate amounts.
3. Consume 2-4 portions of oatmeal each day
There’s ample evidence that shows that oats can help lower cholesterol levels. They’re a rich source of insoluble fiber called beta-glucan which binds with cholesterol and hinders absorption. A daily intake of approximately 3g of betaglucan is thought to be sufficient to improve the quality of life.
4. Include sources of insoluble fibre
Other food sources that are high in soluble fibre such as sweet potatoes, barley beans, peas , and lentils.
5. Include oily fish once a week.
Consume oily fish once a week or more often if have an underlying history of heart disease. Omega-3 fats in oily fish are able to lower blood triglycerides that are harmful to your health. including mackerel, herring, pilchards, sardines and fresh tuna.