Cholesterol: how to lower it to avoid cardiovascular problems – Health
Last Thursday, September 29, was World Heart Day, a date that aims to make the population aware of the importance of cardiovascular disease prevention. This body deserves to be nurtured, valued and controlled; however, the truth is that it is usually not considered until it sends an “appeal for attention or alarm.”
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One of the factors that most affect the heart is high cholesterol. -which usually occurs at low levels-, a substance that, if neglected and reduced, generates cardiovascular problems and, in the long term, complications in the rest of the body.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance, very similar to fat, that is found in the cells of the body and is needed for the production of hormones, vitamin D and substances that help digest food.
How to take care of the heart?
These include: high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, diabetes or insulin resistance, cigarette addiction and a sedentary lifestyle
“While it is true that there are risk factors for heart disease that cannot be changed – such as family history, gender or age – there are a large majority that can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle. These include: high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, diabetes or insulin resistance, cigarette addiction and a sedentary lifestyle,” says Victoria Bravo, Nutrition graduate and member of NewGarden’s Nutrition Department.
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The specialist recommended taking into account the following care for this organ:
1. Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables: WHO recommends the consumption of 5 portions per day between fruits and vegetables.
2. Increase your fiber intake: Including at least 30 grams of fiber per day significantly lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and controls blood sugar levels, thereby reducing cardiovascular risk.
3. Add cardio-protective fats: Omega 9 and the famous omega 3 and 6 are essential fatty acids because the body does not produce them and they must be included in the diet. They are found in nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, seeds (especially ground chia and flax or their liquid oils), avocados, wheat germ, oats, olives and olive oil, fatty oily fish such as tuna, salmon, trout, anchovies , mackerel, sardines, etc.
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Its functions include reducing triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, protecting arteries and joints due to its anti-inflammatory action, and contributing to the proper functioning of the central nervous system and vision.
4. Add antioxidant foods: Such as blueberries, green tea, turmeric, ginger, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, good quality dark chocolate, foods that have bioactive compounds with cardioprotective activity.5. Do not drink alcohol.
What is familial hypercholesterolemia and how is it different from cholesterol?
According to the US National Library of Medicine, familial hypercholesterolemia is a disease that is passed from parents to children. This disease leads to a very high level of bad cholesterol. The condition begins at birth and can cause a heart attack at an early age.
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How do you know if you have high cholesterol?
Professionals explain that there are two types of cholesterol: the “bad” or LDL and the “good” or HDL. and that keeping both values in order is essential to avoid risks such as suffering a myocardial infarction. Regarding its characteristics and differences, the following should be considered:
The “good” has high-density lipoproteins (high-density lipoproteins, or simply HDL), which transport cholesterol to the liver. There, a part is used to produce the synthesis of hormones, and the rest is eliminated through the bile to the digestive tract. Also, since its function is to remove cholesterol from peripheral tissues to the liver, it is called good cholesterol.
On the other hand, there is LDL or also known as low density lipoprotein. These are lipoproteins that release cholesterol from the liver into the blood and are directly linked to the risk of coronary heart disease.
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In addition, they have a negative effect on the arteries, among which: reduces blood flow in this area; creates bumps on the surface of the walls, generating “turbulence” in the blood flow and fueling the formation of new bumps; and if the plaques grow, they can completely block the tube, causing stenosis (narrowing) of the vessel and even infarction of the irrigated tissue – due to lack of oxygen – explains the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the United States.
How to lower cholesterol?
In a dialogue with “La Nación”, Dr. Paola Harwich said this the liver is responsible for producing 75 percent of cholesterol and that the remaining percent comes from the diet.
“A quarter of the population has high cholesterol levels and this condition is usually associated with a sedentary lifestyle, excess calorie consumption and obesity. Although for decades the emphasis has been on a low-fat diet, recent research reveals that the focus should be on the proper selection of fats and reducing the consumption of trans- and saturated fats. “We have enough evidence that unsaturated fats (especially Omega 9 and 3) are beneficial for health and are considered heart-healthy fats,” said the expert.
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THE NATION (ARGENTINA) / GDA