To put it in the simplest terms for you, cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in all cells of the body. Our body has a way of manufacturing the cholesterol it needs to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that aid digestion. There are two main forms of cholesterol, LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). Cholesterol leads to building up of fatty deposits and plaque on the artery walls and this causes heart ailments and problems with the blood vessels. However, HDL is protective for our body, as it carries cholesterol from other parts of the body back to the liver. It is sometimes called “good” cholesterol. LDL, on the other hand, is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, as a high level of LDL leads to a build up of cholesterol in our arteries, which in turn, has serious ill-effects on our health.
In case you’re worried about how to reduce cholesterol, it is imperative to eat foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Salmon, herring, and mackerel are some of the fishes that are abundant in omega 3 fatty acids. The “six super-foods” that have been found to actively lower cholesterol levels, include – soya foods (soya milk, soya desserts, soya nuts, etc.), a handful of nuts a day, oats and barley, plant sterols/stanols, fruits and vegetables, and foods rich in unsaturated fats, such as canola and vegetable oils. Go for low cholesterol breakfast recipes comprising oat bran, oatmeal, lentils and beans and always have food that is low in sugar and salt. Additionally, nuts are high in calories while preventing cholesterol absorption. On the other hand, fatty desserts made of dairy products, fatty meats, cheese and tropical oils like palm oil are to be strictly avoided.
Besides consuming healthy foods, you should also make it a point to increase your physical activity, as it will help raise HDL, the “good cholesterol. Taking a brisk walk daily, riding your bike to work, taking up a sports, or swimming are some of the ways in which you can make a difference. Besides, quitting smoking will let your LDL drop and raise HDL in turn. So, if you’re a smoker, cut down immediately. Last but not the least, hearty doses of laughter can actually act like medicine and increase your HDL.
You should also look to switch to Nutralite which is a healthy table margarine. It is rich in MUFA and PUFA which are known to combat cholesterol. It is completely free of hydrogenated fats which are some of the major causes of unhealthy cholesterol. Now you know why Nutralite makes for a good option as far as your regular breakfast is concerned.