For years you have been told that high cholesterol foods can cause heart disease. This is because some studies have linked with high levels of cholesterol with heart disease & early death. Cholesterol in the blood stream specifically the bad LDL cholesterol is important in determining health risk.
The truth is that cholesterol is important structural molecule which is essential for each & every cell & also make steroid hormone such as testosterone, estrogens, cortisol & vit.D.
Yolk contains choline, Bvitamin that plays important role in neurotransmitter production, detoxification & maintenance of healthy cells
But dietary cholesterol is not the first option to maintain all the function your liver produces enough cholesterol to meet the body’s need. When you eat foods high in cholesterol your liver produces less.
Cholesterol in the diet should not exceed 300mg. Liver synthesis as much as 2 gm/day. One whole egg or yolk contain 210mg cholesterol. The biggest influence on blood cholesterol level is the mix of fats, saturated fats, trans fat & carbohydrates in your diet not the amount of cholesterol you eat from food.
Ways to lower high blood cholesterol
- Loose extra weight- Regular exercise can lower LDL cholesterol & raise HDL cholesterol. The aim should be physically active for 30mintes/day.
- Increasing the amount of fibre & plant food can also help to lower the LDL cholesterol. e.g beans, peas & lentils
- Include heart healthy food such as avocado, walnuts & almonds (rich in heart healthy fats omega 3 fatty acid). Also rich in minerals like calcium, potassium& magnesium which helps in maintenance of blood pressure.
- If you are a non-vegetarian best sources of omega 3 fatty acids are fatty fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel) but intake should be in a healthy way baked, grilled, steam etc.
- Green tea which contains catechin help to activate nitric oxide which is important for healthy blood pressure. It also inhibit cholesterol synthesis & absorption which prevents blood clot formation.
- Include fresh fruits & dark green veggies which contain lutein & other carotenoids helps in lower the risk of hypercholesterolemia.
- Avoid junk food, excess intake of salt, refined carbohydrates, saturated fat, trans fat etc.
- Avoid smoking, stress, alcohol to maintain your heart healthy.
Dt. Shahenaz Shaikh
Clinical Nutritionist & Reg. Dietician