Cholesterol is produced in the liver and it plays an essential role in a lot of bodily functions. For instance, it helps maintain the flexibility of the cell walls and it is also vital for the production of various hormones. But, excess cholesterol or cholesterol in compromised areas can lead to issues. Instead of being dissolved with water, cholesterol is moved through the body by lipoproteins that transport vitamins, fat, and cholesterol in your blood. Low-density lipoprotein is bad for your health as it leads to deposits of cholesterol in the walls of your blood vessels, which could result in kidney failures, heart attacks, strokes, or clogged arteries. On the other hand, high-density lipoprotein carries cholesterol out of the vessel walls as well as aids in the prevention of these diseases. These are some of the proven ways to lower bad LDL cholesterol in your body;
Avoid Trans Fat
When unsaturated fats undergo modification by a process known as hydrogenation, they become Trans fats. This process is carried out to ensure that the unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils have greater stability as ingredients. A lot of shortenings and margarine consist of hydrogenated oils partially. The trans-fat that is gotten as a result of this is not saturated fully, however, they are solid at room temperature. Because of this, most food companies incorporate trans fat in products like cookies, pastries, and spreads as it provides more texture than unsaturated oils.
However, it is important to note that your body handles partially hydrogenated trans fat in a different way than other fats. The beneficial HDL is reduced by up to 20% with your intake of trans fat and also, your total cholesterol and LDL are increased.
Use polyunsaturated fats, particularly Omega-3s
Polyunsaturated fats contain various double bonds, which is what makes it act in a different way in the body than saturated fats. Studies have shown that these fats can lower bad LDL cholesterol levels in the body in addition to reducing the chances of developing heart problems. For instance, a study had people consume polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated fats for eight weeks. At the end of the study, the participants noticed a reduction in their LDL cholesterol levels by 10%. Also, another study had participants take polyunsaturated fats rather than dietary saturated fats, and it resulted in a reduction of their risk of coronary artery disease by about 20%. Research also suggests that polyunsaturated fats can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Omega-3 fatty acids are a very essential type of polyunsaturated fat, especially because they are heart-healthy. They can be gotten in fish oil supplements and seafood.
Eat soluble fiber
Soluble fiber is known as a group of various compounds in plants that can be dissolved in water but cannot be digested by human beings. But, soluble fiber can be digested by the beneficial bacteria that reside in your intestine. It is also required for nutrition. These sets of bacteria are known as probiotics and they work to eradicate the two types of harmful lipoprotein, which are LDL and VLDL. One study showed that people who took 3g of soluble fiber supplements per day for 12 weeks reduced their LDL level by about 18%. Another study that involved fortified breakfast cereal showed that the additional soluble fiber from psyllium reduced LDL by 6 percent and the fiber from pectin reduced LDL by 4 percent. In addition to that, the cholesterol benefits of taking a statin medication are increased with your intake of soluble fiber. Intake of soluble fiber also helps prevent diseases. Research has shown that high fiber intake can reduce death risk by up to 15%.
Focus on monounsaturated fats
In contrast to saturated fats, unsaturated fats contain nothing less than one double chemical bond, which makes them used in a different way by the body. There is only one double bond in monounsaturated fats. While a low-fat diet is recommended by many people for weight loss, it has also been found to reduce harmful LDL in the body, but at the same time, reduce beneficial HDL.
However, a study showed that following a diet that is high in monounsaturated fats can reduce harmful LDL and also protect HDL. Another study that consisted of participants with high blood cholesterol further showed that consuming a diet that is high in monounsaturated fat increased HDL levels in the body by up to 12%. You can opt for good sources of monounsaturated fat like avocadoes and olive oil.