Blame it on a sedentary lifestyle or unhealthy food habits, high cholesterol is undeniably one of the most commonly occuring health disorders, which may increase the risk of strokes and coronary diseases in the long run.
However, a healthy balance of cholesterol is also required for a healthy functioning of the body, but an increase in the bad cholesterol can lead to obesity and cardiac diseases.
Interestingly, cholesterol is often considered as the most harmful components derived from rich and oily foods that impact overall health, but studies prove that there are several reasons that lead to high cholesterol and foods that can increase the high cholesterol level in the body.
What makes cholesterol and here’s all you need to know about it?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty and sticky substance found in the body and in several animal based foods like meat, eggs and dairy products. However, for the human body cholesterol plays a pivotal role in production of vitamin D, hormones and bile juice which helps in digestion of fats obtained from foods.
Moreover, cholesterol is also an essential part of the cells in the body, giving cell membranes strength and flexibility
Being a waxy substance, cholesterol doesn’t mix well with fluids in the body like blood. This is the reason why cholesterol is transported across the body in the form of lipoproteins, including low-density and high-density lipoprotein — or LDL and HDL.
LDL is often referred to as “bad cholesterol,” as it’s associated with the plaque buildup in arteries, which may lead to blockages. Whereas, HDL is known as the good cholesterol, which helps throw out excess cholesterol from your body.
How does the body manage cholesterol naturally?
Only 25% of cholesterol in the body comes from dietary sources. The rest is produced by the liver. In fact, excess consumption of cholesterol is compensated by the body by reducing the amount of cholesterol that it naturally makes.
Especially, when dietary cholesterol consumption is less, the body increases the cholesterol production to ensure that there is always enough of this vital substance to maintain a healthy balance.
According to studies, consumption of foods rich in good cholesterol can also effectively manage the bad cholesterol level in the body.
Foods like eggs, sardines, shellfish and other omega 3 fatty acid rich foods can also help in reducing the risk of high cholesterol. Here are a few foods that may lead to an increase in the level of LDL in the body and must be avoided!
Fried and oily foods
Loaded with calories, trans fats, excessive salts, fried and oily foods are a strict no no, if you are suffering from high cholesterol issues. In fact, these foods have a deficit of essential nutrients and their excessive fat content increases the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Sweet delights like cakes, ice cream, pastries and mithais can lead to obesity and an increase in the triglyceride levels which further increases the risk of diabetes, cardiac diseases and other lifestyle disorders. Moreover, most sugar laden delicacies are low on nutrients and in most cases it is consumption of empty calories.
Consuming junk food or fast food can lead to several diseases, but you would be amazed to know that frequent consumption may lead to cholesterol, obesity and higher levels of inflammation and impaired blood sugar regulation. Thus avoiding fast foods is a must to reduce the risk of heart diseases or blockage of arteries.
The ready-to-eat meats may seem like a quick feast, but can actually lead to an increase in LDL levels. Apart from that, excessive consumption of processed meats like sausages, bacon may increase the risk of heart disease and certain cancers like colon cancer.