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High Cholesterol Can Lead To Several Diseases: Top 10 Foods That Can Help Lower Your Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol can be due to family history, but it is often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices. Therefore, it can be preventable and treatable. Healthy eating habits, regular exercise and sometimes medication can help in reducing high cholesterol.

High Cholesterol Can Lead To Several Diseases: Top 10 Foods That Can Help Lower Your Cholesterol Levels

Too much cholesterol can have a negative effect on your health

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood and cells
  2. High blood pressure and high cholesterol also are linked
  3. Some foods can help lower cholesterol levels

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood, your cells and certain foods like eggs, meat and dairy products. Your liver makes most of the cholesterol in your body. The rest comes from the foods you eat. Human body needs some cholesterol in order to perform some functions properly. However, too much cholesterol can have a negative effect on your health. When cholesterol levels are high, you may develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. These deposits make it difficult for blood to flow through your arteries. Your heart may not get as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs, which thereby increases the risk of several heart diseases. Decreased blood flow to your brain can cause a stroke.

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When cholesterol levels are high, you may develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels.
Photo Credit: iStock


High cholesterol can be due to family history, but it is often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices. Therefore, it can be preventable and treatable. Healthy eating habits, regular exercise and sometimes medication can help in reducing high cholesterol.

Also read: 7 Natural Cholesterol Reducers For A Healthy Heart

Impact of high cholesterol on your health:

1. Coronary heart disease:

People with high cholesterol are at a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. If you have high cholesterol, it can build up in the walls of your arteries. Over a period of time, this build-up called plaque hardens the arteries which is also called atherosclerosis. This narrows the arteries which further slow down the blood flow to the heart muscle. Reduced blood flow can result in angina (chest pain) or in a heart attack if a blood vessel gets blocked completely.

2. Diabetes:

High blood sugar levels can disturb the balance between HDL and LDL cholesterol levels. People with diabetes tend to have LDL particles which stick to arteries and damage the blood vessel walls easily. Glucose attaches to lipoproteins (a cholesterol-protein package that enables cholesterol to travel through blood). Sugarcoated LDL remains in the bloodstream for a longer time and this may lead to the formation of plaque. People with diabetes tend to have low HDL and high triglyceride levels. Both of them boost the risk of heart and artery disease.

3. High blood pressure:

High blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol also are linked. When the arteries become hardened and narrowed with cholesterol plaque and calcium, the heart finds it difficult to pump blood through them. As a result, blood pressure becomes abnormally high. Therefore, high blood pressure is also linked to heart disease.

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High blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol also are linked.
Photo Credit: iStock

4. Peripheral arterial disease:

High cholesterol also has been linked to peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Peripheral arterial disease refers to diseases of blood vessels that are outside the heart and brain. In this, fatty deposits build up along artery walls and affect blood circulation, mainly in arteries leading to the legs and feet. The arteries of the kidney can also be affected in this disease.

5. Stroke:

A heart stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain becomes blocked or bursts. A stroke can also result if the blood supply to the brain is reduced. When stroke occurs, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it starts to die.

Also read: Weight Loss: 3 Tablespoons Of This Drink In A Day Will Help You Lose Belly Fat And Lower Cholesterol Levels

Foods that help lower cholesterol:

  • Whole grains
  •  Fatty fish
  •  Fruits
  •  Vegetables
  •  Flax seeds
  •  Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  •  Legumes
  •  Nuts
  •  Dark chocolate
  •  Garlic
  •  Soya foods
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Olive oil can help lower cholesterol levels
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: High Cholesterol In Kids: Some Tips For Better Cholesterol Management In Kids

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.  

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