The Western world is under assault from a disease of our own making! Health officials in every Western country are tolling the warning bells about general public levels of obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol. The main culprits of this are said to be over eating, eating junk food and not exercising sufficiently.
At one time, not so long ago, most of the victims of these issues were middle-aged Americans. That extended to middle-aged Europeans. Then to American children and now it is spreading to European children. None of the warnings concerning eating too much junk food and not exercising enough seem to be having any impact at all.
All of these three issues are related and that is why heart disease is the primary killer of adults in the West. Cholesterol plays a big part in these conditions. However, not all cholesterol is bad. LDL cholesterol is often known as the ‘bad cholesterol’ and HDL is known as the ‘good cholesterol’, because it helps mop up LDL.
Small amounts of cholesterol are also essential for the production of vitamin D and bile salts and it is also useful in the balancing of hormones especially in women. However, LDL cholesterol sometimes clings to the walls of the arteries and if it is allowed to build up too much, can block them.
If the arteries become clogged, the heart will have to pump more to get enough blood to where it is required and this can lead to the first stages of high blood pressure.
The best manner to be rid of excess LDL is to have high levels of HDL, because HDL captures LDL and takes it back to the liver where it is dealt with and excreted.. HDL cholesterol can be eaten by eating nuts, fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, soya and special spreads that were designed to lower LDL.
However, the best manner of reducing LDL is by not eating it in the first instance. LDL is most prevalent in saturated fats and hydrogenated trans fats. Saturated fats are mostly in red meat and full-fat dairy products like milk, cream, butter and cheese. Trans fats are mostly in junk foodstuffs like potato crisps, potato chips, pies, pasties, hamburgers and hot dogs. Cut these out and that is half the battle for a lot of people.
Replace the red meat in your diet with soya products like tofu, of which 25% grammes a day is said to be able to lessen bad cholesterol by 15-30%. Walnuts and almonds have a comparable reputation as do olive oil and rolled oats.
In fact, all grains, pulses and beans are good in the fight against LDL. In general, the foods that will help you are those that contain plenty of fibre and roughage; fresh is better than tinned (which will contain a preservative such as salt); and white meat or fish is better than red meat like beef and pork.
Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on several subjects, but is now concerned with low cholesterol diet recipes. If you want to know more, please visit our site at What Foods Lower Cholesterol?
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