Today, hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterols, is a problem that affects a large part of the population and many people do not understand the fateful consequences that this entails for health. Having high cholesterol levels is the main cause of heart attacks and heart attacks, but there are several ways to prevent it. Learn what it really is, what risks it poses to your health and learn how to lower cholesterols in 5 simple steps without pills.
What is Cholesterol?
Generally, we relate cholesterols to heart problems, heart attacks and medications. However, almost no one knows that it is an essential substance for the proper functioning of the organism:
- It is found in all cell membranes forming the structure of the cell.
- Participates in the production of sex hormones, such as estrogen or testosterone.
- It participates in the production of corticosteroid hormones, such as cortisol.
- Participates in the production of vitamin D.
We could not live without cholesterol and, in fact, the human body has its own mechanisms to ensure that at no time does a lack of cholesterols affect us. Did you know that the liver produces the majority of blood cholesterols and, in addition, is responsible for regulating these levels? A very small part of the cholesterol present in our body comes from the foods we eat and, when we eat many foods high in cholesterol, the liver reduces its production
In other words…
Eating foods high in cholesterol barely alters total blood cholesterol levels, since the liver keeps them stable.
Differences Between HDL and LDL Cholesterol:
In common language, we talk about HDL cholesterol or LDL cholesterol, but in terms of cardiovascular health, when we talk about the term “cholesterol” we refer to the mode of transport of the same.
“Cholesterol is a fat-soluble molecule dissolves in fat, and this prevents it from moving itself through the bloodstream”.
For this reason, there are structures called lipoproteins that are responsible for transporting cholesterol through the blood:
HDL: high density lipoproteins, that is, molecules that transport cholesterol from the body to the liver.
LDL: low density lipoproteins, that is, molecules that transport the fats from the liver to the rest of the body.
HDL lipoproteins or HDL are known as “good cholesterol” and LDL lipoproteins are known as “bad cholesterol.”
Why this Denomination? (Two)
It is “good” because lipoproteins collect circulating or stuck fat in the veins and carry it to the liver, where it is processed
It is “bad” because when there is an excess of this type of lipoproteins, they can accumulate in the walls of veins and arteries leaving the cholesterol they carry “stuck”. The higher the levels of HDL cholesterol, the lower the chances that cholesterol will clog the veins and the lower the risk of cardiovascular disease Likewise, LDL cholesterol is subdivided into two types according to the size of lipoproteins:
- Small and dense LDL
- Large and lightweight LDL
And, according to several studies, people who generally have small LDL particles usually have three times the risk of heart problems than people with a majority of large LDL particles
Note: the issue of fats and lipoproteins is a very complex issue and this is just a very basic summary so you can know, at least, whether or not your cholesterol levels pose a danger.
What Happens if There is an Excess of Cholesterol in the Blood?
The presence of large amounts of cholesterol in the body is associated with atherosclerosis, the main cause of cardiovascular diseases. Atherosclerosis consists of the excessive accumulation of fat in the arterial walls forming a kind of plaque that grows as cholesterol, inflammatory cells and damaged tissues are deposited in it. Over time, this plaque can reach a very high thickness, break and cause the blood to clot through the artery. The clot would clog the artery, block blood flow and prevent oxygen from reaching the heart, causing the death of a part of it. This is what is known as heart attack or heart attack and, in many cases, can cause death. Another problem of having high cholesterol and herosclerosis is that cholesterol is devoured by a cell called macrophage. When cholesterol, or another type of sterol, tries to settle on the arterial wall, macrophages can ingest them and cause an inflammatory reaction that further aggravates the situation and can become a vicious circle.
5 Steps to Lower Cholesterol:
The following guidelines will help you lower cholesterol without resorting to medications or drugs. However, if your cholesterol levels are very high, you may need to follow medical treatment.
1. Reduce the Intake of Refined Carbohydrates:
Refined carbohydrates are also known as simple carbohydrates or processed carbohydrates and are considered empty calories.
There are two types:
- Sugars: processed and refined sugars such as high fructose corn syrup.
- Refined cereals:grains to which the germ and bran (nutritional parts) have been removed and only maintain the endosperm.
This type of food is characterized by having a high glycemic index, which causes spikes in blood glucose levels and causes an increase in insulin: a very negative effect in diabetic people. Also, several studies have shown that foods with a high glycemic index reduce the amount of HDL and raise LDL and triglyceride. Another interesting fact is that the low – carbohydrate diets increase the size of small, dense LDL particles, making them large and light particles, and descend LDL cholesterol levels
2. Avoid any Food with Trans Fats:
Artificial or industrial trans fats are hydrogenated fats that are made by introducing hydrogen molecules into a vegetable oil. Since the 1970s, many clinical trials and epidemiological studies have been carried out that confirm a strong relationship between the intake of trans fats and the increased risk of heart disease. When replacing trans fats with another type of fat or carbohydrates, the results of clinical trials are clear:
- Increase the total cholesterol / HDL cholesterol ratio.
- Increase LDL cholesterol.
- It negatively affects the ApoB / ApoA1 relationship.
What Foods Contain Trans Fats and Therefore You Should Avoid?
- Vegetable oils.
- Salty and sweet snacks.
- Pastry and industrial pastry.
- Saucesand commercial condiments.
- Ice cream.
If reading the ingredient list is written “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” means containing trans fats.
3. Practice Physical Exercise:
Performing physical exercise has many positive effects on health and one of them is cholesterol reduction. Several studies have confirmed that the practice of physical exercise improves the lipid profile in several ways:
- Increase HDL cholesterol.
- Reduce triglycerides.
- Reduce LDL.
- Convert dense and small LDL lipoproteins into large and light LDL lipoproteins.
In addition, both intense and less intense physical exercises are valid for regulating cholesterol levels: running or walking have almost the same positive effects on cholesterol
4. Don’t Smoke:
As a general rule, smokers have higher levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides than non-smokers. They also have a lower amount of HDL and a higher amount of oxidized LDL , which increases the risk of atherosclerosis. That said, it is clear that not smoking or quitting this habit will greatly reduce the “bad” cholesterol and, with it, the risk of heart attacks or heart attacks.
5. Take Spirulina:
Spirulina is a class of bacteria, also known as blue-green algae, with a high nutrient and protein content of the highest quality. According to numerous studies, consuming 1 gram of spirulina daily can:
- Decrease triglycerides by 16.3%
- Decrease LDL cholesterol by 10.1%.
- Decrease total cholesterol by 8.9%.
- Increase HDL cholesterol.