Fight against cholesterol: the diet to reduce it

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Joe Dispenza
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THEhypercholesterolemia is increasing: data from the Cardiovascular Epidemiological Observatory / Health Examination Survey show that since the late XNUMXs the average value of this fat, which can clog the arteries, increased in both men (205 to 211 mg / dl of blood) and women (207 to 217).

Many people, to keep it under control, choose the shortcut of drugs. "But it would be enough to eat properly and adopt other healthy lifestyle habits so as not to have problems e defend heart and brain health»Says the doctor Giulia Sturabotti, a doctor expert in nutrition, hygiene and preventive medicine in Rome.



The diet (in the gallery below you will find the one developed by the doctor Cinzia Longobucco, biologist nutritionist in Bari) is a valid support in fight against high cholesterol, with indisputable health benefits. Enough include the right foods in the menu, which contribute to raising the "good" one (HDL) and lowering the "bad" one (Ldl), limiting or eliminating those that have the opposite effect.


How much should be lowered

"The international study group Cholesterol Treatment Trialists, which includes some of the most authoritative experts on hypercholesterolemia in the world, has shown that a reduction of 40 mg / dl of Ldl is enough, regardless of the starting values, for lowering mortality from cardiovascular causes by 20%, the risk of major coronary events by 23% and that of stroke by 17% ”, says Dr. Sturabotti.

The danger is in fact given both by the total share of this fat present in the blood, both from the "bad" fraction.

The limits not to be exceeded? "International guidelines consider a normal one "bad" cholesterol between 100 and 129 mg / dl, normal-high if between 130 and 159, moderate when it is between 160 and 189 and severe if greater than or equal to 190. As for the total, which is given by the sum of Ldl, Hdl and triglycerides, it is ok if less than 200 mg / dl, normal-high between 200 and 239 and severe if equal to or greater than 240 ”, points out our expert.




Is the good one tall? OK but...

Be careful, then: to feel safe It is not enough to have high HDL good cholesterol values (i.e. higher than 40 mg / dl in men and 50 mg / dl in women).

"A study by the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, published in Science, made it clear that one of the mechanisms by which HDL protects against coronary heart disease is its ability to take cholesterol from atherosclerotic plaques and to bring it back to the liver, which dissolves it in the bile. To do this, it uses a receptor called Sr-Bi. But not all of us have it and, if it is missing, the "good" cholesterol builds up in the plasma and prevents the elimination of plaques », explains Dr. Sturabotti.

So, to make sure you are defending your well-being, you need to do a (complex) blood test to find out if you have the precious receptor or, much more simply, go on a diet even if you have high HDL.


What to prefer on the menu

A study from the Harokopio University of Athens showed that the nutrients provided by a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish and olive oil (like the Mediterranean one) is able to reduce the probability of having a cardiovascular problem by 47%, regardless of age, sex and general health conditions.

«Among the nutritious friends stand out the polyunsaturated fatty acids from fish and dried fruit (especially walnuts): they regulate lipid metabolism and have anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to keep the walls of the arteries elastic», Cinzia Longobucco points out.


"THE monounsaturated fats of extra virgin olive oil instead they act by cutting the LDL. The whole grain fibers, especially the beta-glucans of oats and barley, reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine. Finally, i sulfur compounds of garlic (including allicin) hinder the synthesis of this fat by the liver. Then there is okay among the foods also soy. It is not yet clear whether the credit should be attributed to phytoestrogens or to other components, such as lecithin, but it is certain that it is capable of reduce total cholesterol, the LDL and triglycerides in those who have them too high », explains Dr. Longobucco.



These are instead to be limited

Instead, here are the foods whose doses you need to limit: first of all the ready-made products, which often have a lot of poor quality fats; then i foods that contain sugar, because substances such as sucrose and glucose produce spikes in insulin, a hormone that stimulates the liver to produce cholesterol; so those rich in lipids of animal origin, such as meat, cured meats, unsuspected bresaola, butter and some cheeses; in the end, seafood, shellfish and eggs.

"Limit them to the table and you will see that the values ​​will improve: because if it is true that most of the cholesterol is endogenous (that is, it is produced by our liver) and that the one introduced with food represents a small percentage of what ends up in the blood, the diet remains the first solution to be implemented », concludes the nutritionist biologist.



Watch out for these 4

Eggs, sure. And then others 3 least suspicious foods (because generally considered "healthy"), but actually high in cholesterol ...

- EGG

1 medium (50 g) provides 64 calories and 186 mg of cholesterol: a lot if you think that to avoid health problems you should stay below 300 mg per day.

- BRESAOLA

Inserted very often in slimming diets, because it is considered lean and low in energy, it provides 67 mg of cholesterol and 151 calories per 100 g.

- CHICKEN

100 g of spindles gives you 125 calories if you also eat the skin, 107 if you discard it. On the other hand, cholesterol goes from 94 mg in the first case to 88 mg in the second.

- GRANA PADANO


With 1 portion of 50 g (the dose recommended by the Society of Human Nutrition for all aged cheeses) you take in 196 calories and 109 mg of cholesterol.


Lifestyle changes too

↘ It's not just a bad diet that raises cholesterol. Even a sedentary lifestyle and cigarettes play a negative role. Here's why it's worth moving and quitting smoking ...

↘ According to the American Heart Association, with 30-45 minutes of aerobic activity (cycling, brisk walking, swimming), practiced 4-5 times a week for 3 months, LDL cholesterol drops by 5%, while HDL cholesterol rises by 4,6%.

Say goodbye to cigaretteson the other hand, it does not reduce "bad" cholesterol, but increases the good one. This is always demonstrated by a study by the American Heart Association, which specifies how HDL levels increase by 5% after one year. But there is also another advantage: "Giving up nicotine reduces the oxidation of LDL, making it less harmful to the arteries»Explains Giulia Sturabotti.

Monday

Breakfast

• 1 cup of unsweetened green tea

• 1 slice of wholemeal bread toasted in a pan

• 1 teaspoon of sugar-free jam

Snack

• 10-12 unsalted almonds

Lunch

• 1 plate of wholemeal couscous seasoned with mixed vegetables cooked in a pan with extra virgin olive oil and 1 clove of garlic

• 1 soy burger

• 1 plate of lettuce salad with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

Snack

• 1 fresh seasonal fruit

Price

• 1 plate of legume and whole grain soup

• 1 grilled salmon steak

• 1 plate of mixed seasonal sour vegetables

Tuesday

Breakfast

• 1 cup of bitter black tea

• 1 slice of wholemeal bread

• 1 teaspoon of sugar-free jam

Snack

• 10-12 unsalted hazelnuts

Lunch

• 1 plate of wholemeal pasta and beans

• 100 g of grilled chicken breast flavored with aromatic herbs to taste

• 1 plate of tomatoes and rocket seasoned with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

Snack

• 1 fresh seasonal fruit

Price

• 100 g of seared tuna steak in a pan without adding seasonings

• 1 plate of steamed spinach (or ribs)

Wednesday

Breakfast

• 1 cappuccino of soy milk

• 1 slice of wholemeal bread toasted in a pan

• 1 teaspoon of sugar-free jam

Snack

• 5-6 nights

Lunch

• 1 plate of fresh tuna carpaccio flavored with lemon juice and aromatic herbs to taste

• 1 plate of mixed vegetable caponata (aubergines, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, courgettes)

Snack

• 1 fresh seasonal fruit

Price

• 1 bruschetta prepared with toasted wholemeal bread, tomatoes, basil and 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

• 2 slices of cooked ham deprived of visible fat

Thursday

Breakfast

• 1 low-fat white yogurt with no added sugar

• 30 g of whole grain oat or barley flakes

Snack

• 1 banana

Lunch

• 1 plate of mixed vegetable soup with 30 g of brown rice or spelled

• 1 plate of mixed legumes seasoned with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1 pinch of black pepper or chilli to taste

Snack

• 15 unsalted pistachios

Price

• 70 g of wholemeal spelled pasta dressed with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and chilli

• 2-3 slices of defatted raw ham

Friday

Breakfast

• 1 cup of bitter red Rooibos tea

• 2 wholemeal rusks

• 2 teaspoons of sugar-free cocoa and hazelnut cream

Snack

• 1 fresh seasonal fruit

Lunch

• 1 portion of sea bass in salt

• 1 boiled potato, dressed with extra virgin olive oil and fresh parsley

Snack

• 15 unsalted cashews

Price

• 1 plate of carrot soup flavored with 1 pinch of chilli or other spices to taste

• 1 grilled tofu hamburger

• 1 plate of raw fennel salads, thinly sliced ​​and dressed with a little extra virgin olive oil

Saturday

Breakfast

• 1 low-fat white yogurt with 30 g of wheat germ

Snack

• 1 fresh seasonal fruit

Lunch

• 1 plate of lean turkey stew, cooked in an earthenware pot with yellow, red and green peppers and a few cloves of garlic

Snack

• 1 tablespoon of flax seeds added to 1 low-fat milk yogurt

Price

• 1 plate of wholemeal barley salad with mixed vegetables (carrots, fennel, cherry tomatoes, peppers) and peas

• 1 steamed sole seasoned with 1 drizzle of raw extra virgin olive oil and aromatic herbs or spices to taste

Sunday

Breakfast

• 1 cup of kefir with 30 g of wholemeal oat flakes

Snack

• 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds in 1 low-fat milk yogurt without added sugar

Lunch

• 1 dish of cauliflower and potato soup dressed with 1 teaspoon of raw extra virgin olive oil and spices to taste

• 50 g of cow's milk ricotta

Snack

• 1 fresh seasonal fruit

Price

• 1 plate of fresh anchovies marinated with lemon juice and aromatic herbs to taste

• 1 plate of bean sprouts salad dressed with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil


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