Most heart diseases are related to the changes in lifestyle, in one way of other. Food, exercise and lifestyle are the fundamental factors of immunity. To maintain an ideal level of cholesterol in our body, we need to reduce the intake of certain food items and include more of some other items in our diet.
Fish is a fine choice
Omega-3 fatty acid, present in fish, reduces the fat accumulation in the veins. Sea fish such as mackerel, sardine and tuna are high in Omega-3. Studies testify that fish items can reduce triglycerides. The latest research indicates that triglycerides are equally dangerous and harmful to the heart as the LDL cholesterol. However, those who have higher levels of cholesterol should not eat too much of sea food items like shrimp, shark, crab, prawn and seer fish (ney meen).
Dates are endowed with cholesterol lowering properties. Dates are rich in calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium. Regular intake of dates twice in a week is healthy for the heart.
The fat contained in almond is monounsaturated fat, which helps to lower the cholesterol level and prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. The oxidation of LDL cholesterol causes the formation of toxic elements that are harmful to the veins. However, excess consumption of almonds is not recommended. From 100 grams of almond can assure you of 500-600 calories. It is recommended that one consumes about six or eight almonds as an alternative to fat-high snacks.
Garlic and Avocado
Avocado contains good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) that helps to lower the bad cholesterol. Its HDL content is equal to the amount contained in olive oil. In a study conducted by a group of cardiac specialists in Australia, it was found that the cholesterol-lowering rate among those who ate an avocado a day was greater than those who followed a low-cholesterol diet. From the research, the cardiologists were also convinced that avocado safeguards the veins from the dangers of oxidation.
A Canadian study proved that cholesterol levels were considerably lowered among those who ate two and a half carrots daily. Other studies also testify that an anti-oxidant named beta-Carotene raises the level of HDL cholesterol or the ‘good’ cholesterol. Soluble fiber contained in carrot also lower the cholesterol.
Garlic and onion are good for a healthy heart. An onion a day can increases the level of HDL cholesterol. A greater cholesterol fighter, garlic can be taken raw or cooked. Three garlic cloves a day is said to be ideal for the health of the heart.
Some tips to lower fat levels
If you are a vegetarian, reduce the intake of butter, ghee and curd. Use only skimmed milk; and if you want curd or butter milk, use only those made of skimmed milk.
Reduce the use of fat in liquid form. Never use more than two teaspoons of oil a day. Instead of palm oil, butter and Dalda, use olive oil, mustard oil and canola oil.
Reduce the intake of red meat (flesh of cow, goat, buffalo and pig). A moderate intake of skinned chicken is fine.
Most sweets are high in cholesterol. So, it is advisable that you reduce your sweets intake.
Egg and fat
There is a common notion that only the unsaturated fat contained in red meat is harmful, whereas the cholesterol contained in egg need not be feared. This is not correct. Our body was derive 30 percent of our energy from fat. Unfortunately, due to our contemporary eating habits, a lion share of energy is derived from fatty foodstuffs.
When we eat an egg, 250 milligrams of cholesterol enter our body. The level of fat intake goes higher if the egg is fried in oil. Therefore, even though some researchers opine that there is nothing wrong in eating hen’s egg, those who are having higher levels of cholesterol must restrict the consumption of egg for the sake of their heart’s health.
Cholesterol is essential for building the cell membrane and hormone production. But, only 2 percent of the cholesterol derived from food is enough for this. The liver will produce the rest. There are two kinds of cholesterol: Good (HDL) and Bad (LDL). Excess intake of saturated cholesterol will cause an increase of bad cholesterol. The bad cholesterol undergoes oxidation and forms toxic elements, which are harmful to veins. That is how serious cardiac conditions like heart attacks occur.
Ideal diet to be followed
Fruits and green vegetables are rich in vitamins B12 and B6 and folic acid. These elements lower the level of a dangerous chemical named homocysteine. Consumption of fruits and vegetables are safe for the heart as they are rich in heart-friendly components like phytochemicals, fiber and minerals.