Cholesterol is not as bad as what most people assume. Human-beings need cholesterol as much as they need oxygen. It makes up our cell membrane, aiding in the synthesis of certain vitamin, hormone and bile for digestion and the absorption of fat, and many other functions. Despite the importance of cholesterol, high blood cholesterol can cause numerous health problems. The main concern regarding cholesterol is that it can lead to atherosclerosis (clogging up of blood vessel) and cause cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke, etc). This week we will share with you about this significant component which ensure proper functioning of human being.
Source of cholesterol
• Liver-main producer of cholesterol in our body
• Food-cholesterol exist in animal only and not from plants, thus animal-based food (meat, beef, fish, egg yolk etc) contain cholesterol
Unlike cholesterol produced by liver, cholesterol from food is poorly absorbed and digested by our body. Thus, it is good to include the muscled meat (chicken, beef etc.) as part of healthy diet as they can provide you with protein, zinc, iron, any other nutrients.
Management of high blood cholesterol
• Exercise regularly-there’s no doubt that this drug-free approach can help with all sort of condition, not only limited to lowering your blood cholesterol level. Exercise can help lower cholesterol level is by helping you maintain or get rid of excess fat. Having extra fat/overweight increase the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or the ‘bad cholesterol’, the kind that has been associated to cardiovascular disease.
• Ensure that you have enough sleep - our liver, just like a machine, needs to have enough rest and be maintained all the time so that it can last longer and function properly. From 1am to 3am, our liver is at its best and can carry out the detox process at the most effective rate. Sleep deprivation can cause our liver goes haywire, developing all sort of health problem such as fatty liver and high blood cholesterol.
• Increase intake of fibre-fruits, vegetables and whole grain (e.g. whole wheat, oats/oatmeal, rye, barley, brown rice, quinoa etc.) are good sources of fibre. The fibre binds to bile acids and cholesterol and promotes their excretion, thus reduce intestinal absorption of the bile acid and cholesterol. Besides, most of the plant sources come with antioxidant, further helping to fight off the free radical.
• Top up on good fats - the omegas are long known to possess cardioprotective element. It comes with anti-inflammatory effect and help to reduce the oxidative stress. Some good sources of omegas are olive oil, avocado, nuts, and oily fish (mackerel, tuna, sardine, siakap, jelawat, etc.)
• Go easy on sugar and refined carbohydrate
• Reduce intake of saturated fat/fried food
Remember that no single food can provide all the nutrients needed by your body. Have varieties in your meal so that you can get enough of the vitamins and minerals.