What is cholesterol?
You probably heard this word more than usual numbers in television ads, but may not be aware of what exactly it is? To put is simply, cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is found in our blood. The liver produces most of the cholesterol. It has its own function in our body. We get cholesterol from the food we eat as well. Although, cholesterol is required for good health, however, the presence of more than limited amount of cholesterol in the blood may develop the reason for many diseases, such as heart disease and can harm your arteries.
Cholesterol is found in every cell of the body and has important natural functions when it comes to digesting foods, producing hormones, and generating vitamin D. It is manufactured by the body but can also be taken in from food. It is waxy and fat-like in appearance.
Cholesterol is both good and bad. At normal levels, it is an essential substance for the body. However, if concentrations in the blood get too high, it becomes a silent danger that puts people at risk of heart attack.
There are two types of cholesterol; LDL (low-density lipoproteins, bad cholesterol) and HDL (high-density lipoproteins, good cholesterol).Lipoproteins are made of fat and proteins. Cholesterol moves through your body while inside lipoproteins… Too much cholesterol in your arteries may lead to a buildup of plaque known as atherosclerosis.
Foods that increase /decrease in cholesterol
The presence of cholesterol in our blood can highly be affected by the kind of food we intake. As a matter of fact, if you take too much saturated fat in your food, it will increase the level of cholesterol. Whereas, if can you cut down on saturated fat and rely more on day to day foods that include more unsaturated fat, it will decrease the cholesterol level.
Foods that increase the cholesterol
Fatty meat and meat products
Full fat cheese, yogurt, cream and milk
Ghee & butter
Palm oil, coconut oil and coconut cream.
Cake, pastry, pudding
Foods that decrease the cholesterol
Usually plant-based foods are not loaded with high saturated fat. Therefore, you should eat fresh vegetables, whole grains, good fats and other plant-based foods to obtain low cholesterol diet. It may include like fruits, vegetables, oat cereals, soya foods, barley, nuts, bean and pulses as well as seeds.