The diet that lowers cholesterol

    The diet that lowers cholesterol

    For about forty years he was in the dock, accused of being among the main perpetrators of heart attacks, strokes, atherosclerosis.

    But for some time now for the cholesterol a phase of "rehabilitation" has begun: for example, a recent study conducted on a large scale, involving several research centers, and published in the
    British Medical Journal, argues that in the over 60 levels of this fat slightly above the threshold considered normal protect against heart disease.

    Other researches, however, show how, to one low cholesterol levels, pathologies of the nervous system and even a higher risk of developing are associated with greater frequency tumors. In short, the debate is open and, when in doubt, common sense seems to be the correct path to follow.

    Good and bad: here are the ok values

    "The total cholesterol should not exceed the value of 200 mg per deciliter of blood. But what matters above all are the levels of those commonly defined "bad” (Ldl) e “good"(HDL), so called by the name of the lipoproteins (low or high density) to which they bind and which favor their deposit on the walls of the artery (in the first case) or transport to liver (In the second).

    This is the real criterion to follow and one that more or less everyone agrees ", explains Anna Villarini, nutrition biologist at the National Cancer Institute of Milan.

    «To reduce the chances of meeting cardiovascular disorders, the value of low density lipoproteins (Ldl) should not exceed 130 mg / dl in healthy people and be between 70 and 115 mg / dl in those with risk factors such as hypertension, but in this case it is good that the risk assessment it is done by your own doctor, ”explains dietician Diana Scatozza.

    «The high density proteins (HDL), which function as" scavengers "of the arteries, should not be lower than 40 mg / dl in men and 50 mg / dl in women. However, remember that the cardiovascular risk it does not depend only on your cholesterol, because it increases even if you smoke, move little, suffer from diabetes», Dr. Scatozza points out.

    The more you play, the less you risk

    Move it is one of the most effective ways to raise "good" cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, 30-45 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (bicycle, brisk walk, swim, dance) 4-5 times a week, can make it go up by as much as 9%. If you then throw the cigarettes away, add another 5%.

    Diet also has its weight 

    Obviously, it takes an eye for power. The cholesterol introduced with food represents only a small percentage of what it is
    ends up in the blood.

    Most of it is produced by the liver. “It is true though that some foods can help raise the good one, while others can modify the levels of that "bad”: 30 g di nights a day they help to raise the HDL lipoproteins and decrease the LDL ones, for example », explains Anna Villarini.

    Discover foods to focus on and those to pay attention to. In addition to menu and recipes to try, to keep cholesterol under control.

    The diet 

    Il menu, suggested by the doctor Anna Villarini, is meant for the weekend: so you have more time to shop and cook, without stressing yourself.


    Breakfast: 1 cup of porridge (see prescription).
    Snack: 1 fresh seasonal fruit (150 g).
    Lunch: spelled pasta (70 g) and beans (30 g), mixed green salad.
    Merenda: 30 g of the night.
    Price: anchovy pie, seasonal vegetables (artichokes).


    Ingredients for people 1

    natural oat flakes, 125 ml of brown rice drink (or other vegetable milk), 1 apple (or a seasonal fruit to taste), 5 toasted hazelnuts (or almonds), salt, cinnamon or ginger. Put the oat flakes in a saucepan with 125 ml of water and a pinch of salt.

    Cook over medium heat, stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the rice milk and leave on the stove for another 5 minutes. Pour the porridge into a bowl, let it cool down and add the apple cut into thin slices and chopped hazelnuts. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon or ginger to taste.


    Breakfast: 1 green tea, wholemeal bread (50 g) with 1 teaspoon of 100% fruit jam.
    Snack: 1 fresh seasonal fruit (150 g).
    Lunch: Mediterranean minestrone (see recipe), 1 tofu and chickpea burger.
    Snack: 30 g of almonds.
    Price: 100 g of chicken breast with lemon with extra virgin olive oil and aromatic herbs, seasonal vegetables (cauliflower).

    Mediterranean-style minestrone

    Ingredients for people 4 

    whole wheat pasta type ditalini, 500 g of turnip greens, 2 onions, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 pinch of whole sea salt, chilli.

    Chop the turnip greens along with the onions and cook them for 10 minutes in 1 liter of water to which you have added 1 tablespoon of oil and a little chilli.

    Combine about 1 liter of hot water (or vegetable broth), bring to a boil and add the pasta. When it is cooked, drain it, transfer it to a bowl and flavor it with 2 tablespoons of raw oil and a little salt.


    Breakfast: 1 cappuccino with coffee and soy or almond-based drink (unsweetened), 1 slice of wholemeal bread, 1 square of dark chocolate (80%).
    Snack: 30 g of pistachios. 
    Lunch: fish curry (see recipe), mixed salad.
    Merenda: 1 fresh seasonal fruit (150 g).
    Price: hulled barley and legume soup, 2 courgettes sautéed with garlic and parsley.

    Curry fish

    Ingredients for people 4 

    1 kg blue fish (sardines, anchovies, mackerel and garfish), 3 onions, 2 chillies, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon of cardamom, 1/2 tablespoon cumin, whole sea salt Preheat the oven to 200 ° C.

    Arrange the fish (gutted) in a pan with the chopped onions and oil e cook for about 15 minutes. Blend the remaining ingredients, then add them to the rest. Cover the pan and continue the cooking for 30 minutes.

    Supersane recipes
    Taken from: Prevent in the kitchen by eating with taste by A. Villarini (Sperling, € 17,50).

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