High cholesterol usually refers to high levels of LDL and VLDL. Cholesterol is an essential fatty molecule in the body and is required for the synthesis of cellular components and hormones.
Bad cholesterol is synthesized in the liver during inflammation and is not caused by red meat, egg yolls, or animal fats. Inflammation is primarily caused by Omega 6 fatty acids present in seed oil, resulting in high cholesterol.
In this article, we bring out simple and natural ways to lower your bad cholesterol level. High levels of LDL and VLDL cholesterol are related to high blood pressure, heart disease, and atherosclerosis.
Foods to Avoid with High Cholesterol
The following are the worst foods for cholesterol and cause inflammation in your liver. These foods should be avoided or restricted:
- Refined sugar: ice creams, sodas, and other beverages contain added refined sugar which promotes inflammation.
- Refined grains: white bread, pasta, crackers, and baked confectionaries often contain hydrogenated fats, which promote inflammation.
- Trans fats: margarine, fried foods, and other highly processed foods contain inflammatory molecules.
- Refined oils: soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, and other seed oils must be avoided completely.
- Processed meat: sausages, hot dogs, salamis, and other similar products can trigger the liver to produce bad cholesterol.
- Highly processed foods: fast food, instant meals, and similar products contain food additives, and inflammatory seed oils.
If you really crave junk food, you can include cheat meals once a week to satisfy your cravings.
How to Lower Your Cholesterol?
Seed oils are the primary cause of high levels of LDL & VLDL cholesterol. They contain Omega 6 fatty acids, which are easily oxidized while cooking and cause inflammation in hepatic cells.
During chronic inflammation, the liver produces high cholesterol. Almost all refined cooking oils are sourced from seeds, so avoiding them can contribute immensely to liver health and lower cholesterol.
Best Way to Lower Cholesterol
Animal fats are often thought to be dangerous to heart health due to their high levels of saturated fats.
However, saturated 100% animal fats do not contain inflammatory fatty acids such as omega 6. Lard, tallow, butter, and ghee are good options and can be heated to high temperatures without worrying about oxidation. These fats increase the palatability of food too.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory benefits. They can prevent heart disease, fatty liver, and other lifestyle disorders. Certain fishes like tuna, herring, anchovy, sardines, salmon, etc are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements can also help reduce high cholesterol.
Exercises to Reduce High Cholesterol
Exercise decreases inflammation by reducing levels of stress hormones. Common cardio exercises, including jogging, cycling, running, and even walking can help lower high cholesterol. Strength and resistance training are also effective.