THE cholesterol It is a fat produced by the liver and found in some types of food. It is essential for the body’s well-being and hormone production. However, when your levels go beyond the limit, serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease and complications can appear.
“First, it is important to emphasize that not all cholesterol is the same. We have, for example, HDL cholesterol, considered the good cholesterol, which, when in excess, is broken down and removed from the body. can, when in large quantities, generate the accumulation of fatty plaques in the arteries, preventing or hindering the passage of blood and leading to serious complications, such as stroke or heart attack”, says nutritionist and cardiologist Dr. Juliano Burckhardt, member of the Brazilian Association of Nutrology (ABRAN) and of the Brazilian Society of Cardiology (SBC).
That’s why we’ve separated some tips to avoid the accumulation of “bad cholesterol” and avoid possible cardiovascular problems. Check out:
1 – Avoid unhealthy fats. “The intake of deep-fried foods and fatty meats, for example, should be reduced, as they are not good for circulation, increasing the amount of cholesterol in the arteries and favoring atherosclerosis”, warns vascular surgeon Dr. Aline Lamaita, member of the Brazilian Society of Angiology and Vascular Surgery (SBACV).
2 – Beware of excess sugar. “Know the ingredients and read nutrition labels carefully. Stay away from foods that contain hidden sources of sugar, such as high-fructose corn syrup and some dextrins,” recommends Dr. Burckhardt.
3 – Add good sources of fat to the diet. “Olive oil, chestnuts, avocados and fish, for example, are rich in beneficial fats for the body that favor the circulatory system and improve the quality of circulation, decreasing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol”, advises Dr. . Lamaita.
4 – Include fiber in the diet. “Foods rich in fiber are able to sequester dietary fat in the intestine, thus decreasing the absorption of cholesterol, fats and sugars”, says nutritionist Dr. Marcella Garcez, director and professor at the Brazilian Association of Nutrology (ABRAN).
5 – Bet on foods that help reduce cholesterol. According to Dr. Garcez, in addition to fiber, phytosterols, which are present in olive oil, flaxseed, walnuts, chestnuts, cold water fish, dark chocolate and avocado, can also help reduce cholesterol levels.
6 – Practice physical activities. “Being active for 30 minutes most days can help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol,” explains Dr. Burckhardt.
7 – Give up smoking once and for all. “Oxidation also leads to inflammation in the arteries that can result in the formation of fatty plaques, clogging the vessels. So smoking is one of the most harmful to heart health”, concludes the cardiologist.