High cholesterol is something that we have been hearing about for a long time. According to government statistics one-fourth of all deaths among people in the 25-69 year age range is due to cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown that Indians are affected by heart diseases at a much younger age as compared to people in the West.
However, most of us are not aware of the fact that cholesterol is found in the cells of the body. It has a waxy and fat like appearance. Since it is oil based it does not mix with blood. The problem, however, arises when the limit of cholesterol is exceeded.
Cholesterol performs 4 functions in the body –
- It contributes to structure of cell walls
- It prepares digestive bile acids
- It makes the body produce vitamin D
- It also enables the body to make certain hormones
High level of LDL (low-density lipoproteins) builds up cholesterol in arteries. while HDL (high-density lipoproteins) carries cholesterol to the liver for removal from the body. The increase in LDL can lead to the blockage of arteries. Being overweight, very often leads to high blood LDL levels. The build-up can narrow the arteries and make it harder for blood to flow through them. The build-up can also lead to dangerous blood clots and inflammation that can cause heart attacks and strokes. LDL is “bad” cholesterol. It is the kind that can raise your risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
LDL is said to be bad cholesterol because it tends to contribute to plaque, which is a thick hard deposit that can clog arteries and make them less flexible. On the contrary, the good cholesterol – HDL in high levels may safeguard against heart attacks and strokes.
So, what are few food items that can help in the reduction of bad cholesterol and keep it under the permissive limit?
- Organic Cabbage – This is loaded with antioxidants. These anti-oxidants help in keeping cholesterol level under control.
- Organic Onions – These are not only good for cholesterol levels but also control blood pressure. These are rich in sulphides that reduce the risk of colon and stomach cancer.
- Organic Tomatoes – These are a good source of lycopene which works towards reducing the accumulation of cholesterol around the arteries walls.
- Organic Soy Beans – They carry substances that reduce LDL and enhances HDL to a great extent.