Healthy and balanced diet and physical activity help control the total cholesterol level. Expert tips for choosing the right foods!
Criminalized, debated, mistreated. High cholesterol (like blood pressure ) is considered one of the main elements to keep under control to reduce cardiovascular risk and enjoy good health.
But there is a lot of information and little clarity on this topic. Not all cholesterol comes to harm.
As explained by Dr. Carla Lertola, dietician and Dr. Valentina Bolli, dietician “In the meantime it should be noted that cholesterol plays a very important role for our body. It constitutes cell membranes, lipoproteins, favors the assimilation of fats and some vitamins (A, D, E, K) and contributes to the production of hormones (male and female). If it is present in excess, however, it is true that it can deposit in the blood vessels and hinder circulation, which is why we must be careful ".
Good cholesterol and bad cholesterol: let's be clear
Not everyone takes into account that cholesterol is of two types; LDL exists, that is the bad one and HDL, that is the good one and that the relationship between the two must be evaluated more than the absolute value. Lertola warns “Bad cholesterol is dangerous because it can form plaques that favor the closure of vessels. However, good cholesterol has the ability to transport bad cholesterol to the liver for disposal. This is why it is important to assess the overall amount of cholesterol by examining the proportion between the two. "
The amount of total cholesterol should not exceed 200 mg per deciliter, taking into account that the optimal amount of good cholesterol for men should be greater than 40 mg and for women 50 mg.
A help from physical activity and nutrition
159719 The good news is that two fundamental aspects contribute to increasing good cholesterol: physical activity and nutrition. Lertola and Bolli specify: "There are foods that, due to their particular composition (containing fatty acids that are beneficial for health), can promote the increase in good cholesterol, let's see what they are and why".
Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews.
Dried fruit is a veritable mine of omega-3 and omega-6, polyunsaturated fatty acids precious for the body. For this reason it is able not only to lower the levels of bad cholesterol, but also to increase the good one, improving its functionality at the same time.
Cod, sardines, herring, salmon.
Blue fish is also rich in omega 3, fats that support and optimize the metabolism of blood lipids. Through omega 3, triglycerides are controlled and good cholesterol (HDL) is increased, reducing cardiovascular risk.
Vegetable oils, such as olive oil, are particularly useful for fighting bad cholesterol. In fact, they contain a significant amount of unsaturated fatty acids, as well as important percentages of vitamin E, antioxidant and capable of improving lipid metabolism.
Some seeds, among which those of flax stand out, are characterized by a very high quantity of omega 3.
By consuming them raw, you can stock up on good fats, preventing heart disease.
It is important to follow the food pyramid
In general, therefore, the best trace is the Mediterranean diet.
"Taking into account that there are situations, especially for women, where the intake of beneficial fats is more important, such as in pregnancy (for the development of the baby's brain) and in menopause, because the absence of estrogen, protective against cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases, the need increases ".