Low Density Lipoprotein – How To Lower LDL Through Diet

Cholesterol is not some "evil" substance, but a very useful lipid that is transported by the blood to help build cell membranes. There is, of course, the so-called bad and good cholesterol. Bad cholesterol (also called Low Density Lipoprotein) is deposited in the vessels of the body, while the good cholesterol acts against the bad cholesterol. Most health problems start when the levels of total cholesterol in our blood are more than 200 mg/dL. This means that the bad cholesterol (LDL) is too high and may increase the risk of disturbance in the blood supply to the vital organs of the body. So what we want to do is to lower LDL and increase good (HDL) cholesterol.

But, what are the factors that contribute to the increase of total and bad cholesterol?

- Dietary factors (consumption of foods rich in saturated fats, obesity)
- Lifestyle (sedentary lifestyle)
- Heredity
- Pathological diseases such as diabetes, hormonal disorders and others.

As for smoking, it’s not among the factors that increase bad cholesterol, but it increases its harmful effects, so it would be a good idea to abstain from this nasty habit. Additionally, you should limit alcohol consumption to one or two glasses per week. What about exercise? Exercise doesn’t actually reduce bad cholesterol, but it can help increase HDL cholesterol. This means that by being physically active you can decrease the harmful effects of bad cholesterol.

The "guilty" foods

The levels of LDL cholesterol in our bodies are increased by eating foods that contain two types of fatty acids: saturated fats, which are contained inside foods of animal origin such as sausages, meats and high fat cheese and trans fatty acids, which are contained mainly inside highly processed products such as biscuits, croissants and snacks.

The "antidotes"

Soluble fiber (for example products based on oats) citrus fruits and foods with omega-3 fatty acids such as fish and flaxseed can be helpful. What is more, any
low LDL diet should contain green tea.

Green tea can lower LDL by a few points, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. By studying the habits of thousands of people, scientists found that green tea reduces total and LDL cholesterol by five or six points, compared to other treatments or placebo. The researchers focused on the effectiveness of either green tea as a beverage or in a capsule form that contains catechins, which are substances that are believed to reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine.

The scientists examined the results of 20 clinical studies that involved a total of 1,415 people. The participants were randomly assigned to drink green tea daily or take the placebo. The experiment lasted for a few weeks to six months and the benefits were limited to people who already had hypercholesterolemia.

As for the side effects, although the consumption of green tea in modest amounts is safe, it does contain caffeine, which may not be well-tolerated by some people. Additionally, there have been reports of liver damage in people who have used extracts of green tea, so try to avoid the supplements that may contain huge doses of catechins and simply enjoy 1-2 cups of brewed tea per day.