Cholesterol is fat present in the blood. At times, it’s referred to lipids. Cholesterol might trigger chronic health problems. However, cholesterol isn’t that bad guy. Healthy cholesterol levels are vital for the functioning of body cells. Cholesterol makes vitamin D and few hormones. There are 2 major types: HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol). If LDL levels become too high and HDL too low, the risk of cardiovascular complications increases. Also, there is a third type, triglycerides. These are mix of three fatty acids combined with glycerol (a type of glucose). Triglycerides can also exert bad effects on a person’s health if their levels become high.
The factors that keep the cholesterol levels healthy are:
- consuming a healthy, balanced diet
- being physically active
However, if the bad cholesterol rises, many individuals require medicine to reduce it. And for diabetics, it is important that to check the levels each year.
Risk of high cholesterol and treatment
Many type 1 diabetics take statins as a primary preventive measure of heart disease. This means that a person might not have high cholesterol levels. However, statins assist to keep them in a healthy range. In addition, statins help to lower down the risk of heart disease.
Type 1 diabetics taking statins, irrespective of their cholesterol levels, can be:
- individuals above 40 years of age
- those who have a history of diabetes for above 10 years
- those with prior kidney damage or other CVD risk factors
For type 2 diabetics, calculation of the overall CVD risk using a QRISK calculator is a must. For the primary prevention of CVD, statins are given to type 2 diabetics having a 10% or higher 10-year risk of developing CVD.
Steps to manage the blood fats
- Check the blood fat levels normally once every year.
- Lose weight if a person is living with obesity or is overweight.
- Eat a healthy diet with more fruits, veggies, nuts, oily fish, and wholegrains. You can take help from our experts at Breathe Well-Being, A Natural Diabetes Reversal Program.
- Keep a check on the amount of alcohol a person consumes. Although, evidence suggests that drinking alcohol in limits helps to reduce heart disease. While, drinking an excessive amount might enhance the risk.
- If a person smokes, get support to quit the habit.
- Stay active and sit less. You can check our website for articles on exercise and diabetes.
A good dietitian helps here. They would recommend to reduce the saturated fat and increase the fiber consumption. Various natural foods are available. They help to guard the heart and bring down the level of cholesterol. The question is, do they work?
Some of the best foods for cholesterol reduction are as follows.
Foods that defends the heart
Evidence suggests that some foods protect the heart. They do so by affecting the cholesterol, triglycerides, or by other means. Their method of preparation creates a huge impact on a person’s health. It’s good to boil, steam or grill them.
Fruits and veggies
Consumption of fruits and veggies reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. They contain low saturated fat. And, many consists of no fat at all. They contain high amount of fiber, and fewer calories. Fruits and veggies are just great for weight management. Moreover, their phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants help a person maintain good health.
Soluble fiber helps to regulate cholesterol. These can be present in:
- Sweet potato
Having nuts regularly reduces cholesterol and the overall risk of heart problems. For example: walnuts, almonds, and cashews. Nuts contain plant sterols, stanols, and are rich in fiber content. It is good to choose unsalted nuts.
Diabetics must consume two portions of oily fish every week. These are good sources of omega-3 fats. Oily fish help to prevent and manage cardiovascular diseases. Oily fish can be herring, salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Good vegetarian and vegan sources of omega-3 fats can be:
- Chia seeds
- Flaxseed oil
Oats and barley
Barley and oats are rich sources of soluble fiber named beta-glucan. This forms a gel that binds cholesterol in the body. And, thus prevents it from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
Also read: Benefits of an Exercise Fitness Mat