Four tips to lower bad cholesterol - Jornal O Sul

Four tips to lower bad cholesterol – Jornal O Sul

Experts explain how healthy habits can prevent cardiovascular problems. (Photo: Reproduction)

According to information from the Ministry of Health, 4 out of 10 Brazilians have high cholesterol. This is because the new lifestyle habits have increased the consumption of fatty and processed foods.

A survey carried out by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) between 2017 and 2018 revealed that 50.5% of Brazilians’ food was processed. Data like these demonstrate the importance of adopting new lifestyle habits, as explained by surgeon Dr. Aline Lamaita.

“The big problem with high blood cholesterol levels is that it is a silent complication. High cholesterol may not cause any symptoms, gradually clogging the arteries. So, in some cases, the first manifestation of high cholesterol is an event such as a heart attack or stroke, when it is too late to prevent it”, warns the specialist.

To help control cholesterol levels, nephrologist Caroline Reigada, surgeon Aline Lamaita and nutritionist Marcella Garcez list 4 tips. Check out!

1. Do physical exercises

Practicing physical activity is one of the most effective measures for those who want to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL). For this, walking, running, climbing stairs or swimming regularly are excellent options. “Being active for 30 minutes most days can help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol,” explains Dr. Caroline Reigada.

2. Eat foods rich in phytosterols

According to nutritionist Dr. Marcella Garcez, consuming foods rich in phytosterols such as vegetable oils, walnuts, chestnuts and dark chocolate daily can help reduce bad cholesterol in the body. The practice also helps to prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases.

“Bet on foods rich in omega 3, such as salmon and flax and chia seeds. Omega 3 is responsible for preventing cardiovascular diseases, preventing the formation of clots, decreasing total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL levels”, says the specialist.

3. Increase your fiber intake

A diet rich in fiber can bring numerous benefits to the body, as they inhibit the formation of fat in the liver. Oatmeal is an excellent fiber option. “Since it contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which delays gastric emptying, promoting greater satiety, improves circulation, controls the absorption of sugars and inhibits the absorption of fats. […]”, says Dr. Marcella Garcez.

The doctor also explains that citrus fruits are also excellent allies in controlling cholesterol, as they are rich in fiber and antioxidant substances “[As frutas] limit the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine and help reduce LDL levels in the body”, highlights Dr. Marcella Garcez. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the consumption of five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

4. Invest in good fats

Just as avoiding the intake of bad fats and processed foods can help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL), consuming products that are sources of good fat (HDL) is essential to balance the level of cholesterol in the body. While they do not reduce LDL levels, these foods do increase HDL. “Olive oil, chestnuts, avocados and fish, for example, are rich in fats that are beneficial for the body,” says Dr. Aline Lamaita.