What is the difference between “good” and “bad” cholesterol? Find out here. Plus, the key diet you can incorporate into your lifestyle for a healthier and longer life.
The American Heart Association details that “bad” cholesterol – otherwise known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – can stick to the walls of your arteries.
This contributes to “fatty buildups” in the arteries – medically termed atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis narrows the arteries, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood around the body.
An increase in blood pressure results, as well as the increased likelihood of a heart attack, stroke or peripheral artery disease.
Meanwhile, “good” cholesterol offers a helping hand: the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) picks up “bad” cholesterol and transports it to the liver.
LDL refers to the lipoprotein containing more protein than cholesterol (in ratio) thereby enabling it to pick up extra cholesterol.
Once the extra cholesterol is deposited into the liver, it’s broken down to then be excreted from the body.
The cholesterol charity Heart UK identifies the key diet you need to have healthier cholesterol levels.
It’s first recommendation is to introduce soya foods into your diet. No longer a mainstay for vegetarians, this versatile food item can be enjoyed by meat lovers too.
Soya foods are made from soya beans – full of proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and plant nutrients.
You can use soya mince, tofu, edamame beans, soya nuts, soya milk, yoghurts and custards.
Soya pieces can be marinated too – perfect for salads, stir-fries or with a dip.
Another key ingredient to introduce into your diet is oats, barley and other foods rich in soluble fibre.
Heart UK explains that oats and barley contain a form of soluble fibre “called beta glucan”.
They attested it can “help to lower cholesterol” by “forming a gel in the gut”.
Heart UK encourages the consumption of nuts as they’re “full of heart-healthy nutrients”.
For instance, nuts contain protein, fibre, plant sterols, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, zinc and copper.
Additionally, nuts are rich in “unsaturated fats”, so they “can help lower cholesterol”.
Some nuts to choose from include: almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, cashews and peanuts.