All You Should Know About The Good And Bad Cholesterols

Are you still unsure about cholesterol? Some foods can be a help keep your levels balanced.

Everywhere we look someone is hollering about cholesterol in the blood or in your foods or ranting about good cholesterols vs. bad cholesterols, it can be a bit confusing. IT is an established fact that a reducing cholesterol to safe levels is best for the health. So, let’s take a look at what this would mean.

Cholesterol is a chemical and fatty in substance. It is found in the blood and also found in some foods.

The body produces two types of cholesterol and this is why we hear the terms “good” and “bad” cholesterol. While it is important to keep bad cholesterol levels low, it is also important to keep your good cholesterol levels at a balanced level.

Here is how the Heart Foundation describes cholesterol in the blood:

  • HDL (high density lipoprotein) – this is what is commonly referred to as “good” cholesterol as it helps to reduce the likelihood of cholesterol from clogging up your arteries.

  • LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is what is referred to as “bad protein” as it is the primary cause of blockages forming in the arteries.

“The body needs some cholesterol to produce the hormones, Vit D, and other substances that help the body to assimilate its nutrition. While all the cholesterol you need is already created in the body, there are some food sources that should be considered as well,” says the statement by America’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

So, the final goal is to choose those foods that keep LDL low and contribute to the levels of HDL in the blood. The thing to remember is that those foods with high amounts of cholesterol are not necessarily the most beneficial in this cause. When it comes to the foods you eat those high in saturated fats can be risky.

According to the Heart Foundation, the cholesterol you will get from your foods has a very small effect on the cholesterol in your blood.

But, you can expect trans and saturated fats to lead to an increase of LDL in the blood and the solution can be found in eating those foods that have a higher content of healthy fats that will lead to an increase of HDL cholesterol.

This is where we begin talking about dietary cholesterol like the kind found in foods like liver, eggs and prawn. According to the Heart Foundation, you can eat as many as six eggs in a week for balanced cholesterol levels.

Foods to help lower bad cholesterol

Just as we can eat our way to dangerously high levels of bad blood cholesterol, the right diet can help correct the problem.

“Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation,” according to Harvard Medical School.

“Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.”

These foods are all good:

  • Oats

  • Barley and other whole grains

  • Beans

  • Eggplant

  • Nuts

  • Vegetable oils (where you otherwise would use butter)

  • Apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits

  • Foods fortified with sterols and stanols

  • Soy

  • Fatty fish

  • Fibre supplements.

Remember, try to avoid foods high in saturated fat and avoid trans fat altogether. That might mean taking a look at your intake of animal products, particularly red meat.

As Harvard reminds us, “a diet that is heavy on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts is good for the body in ways beyond lowering cholesterol”.