17% of French people suffer from hypercholesterolemia, an abnormal increase in the level of cholesterol in the blood. It is a great deal, to such an extent that reducing the average cholesterolemia by 5% in the adult population has become one of the priorities of the PNNS (National Health and Nutrition Program). But what is cholesterol? Where is he from ? How to limit its impact on health? Is there an anti cholesterol diet? Let’s do a check in.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a complex molecule transported by various forms of lipoproteins.
Indispensable to the body, it has – when it is present in the right amount – a beneficial role, since it is involved in the structure and functioning of cell membranes, in the production of many hormones (cortisone, progesterone, testosterone), in the digestion and transport of fats.
There are 2 kinds of cholesterol, which, when added together, form total cholesterol:
> LDL cholesterol , commonly called “bad cholesterol”, is deposited in the vessels when it is present in too high a quantity or badly used by the cells. It therefore represents a formally established cardiovascular risk factor.
> HDL cholesterol , commonly called “good cholesterol”, represents the anti-atherogenic part of cholesterol, that is to say it acts against the deposition of cholesterol in the vessels.
Where is cholesterol found?
Contrary to popular belief, the main origin of cholesterol is not the consumption of foods containing it (30%), but endogenous synthesis (70%), that is to say the manufacture or misuse of this molecule by the organism itself.
Thus, the dietary factors that influence its synthesis are not only the amount ingested of foods that contain it (eggs, dairy products, seafood, meats ), but also the restriction, the frequency of meals and the nature of the lipids consumed. An essential role is attributed to fats, not only their quantity, but also their nature.
Overall, we consider that saturated fatty acids on the one hand, and trans fatty acids (resulting from the partial hydrogenation of vegetable fats and present in pastries, viennoiseries, fried foods …) on the other hand are strongly associated with elevation of total cholesterol especially LDL, while unsaturated fatty acids (vegetable oils, fatty fish, oilseeds …) induce a decrease in cholesterol, especially LDL.
Other dietary factors are also associated with a drop in the level of cholesterol in the blood: dietary fiber, plant sterols and, overall, all plant products ( fruits and vegetables , whole grains, legumes, oilseeds).
In addition, epidemiological studies have shown that there are other influencing factors. First , physical activity , lower overweight , lower triglycerides and smoking cessation would increase good cholesterol.
Second, the consumption of foods rich in antioxidants (plant products, oils, fish) could make LDL Cholesterol less atherogenic.
Finally, note that the excess manufacturing or insufficient use of cholesterol by the body can be of genetic or medicinal origin .
If you want to know more about cholesterol and how it works:
-the famous book Cholesterol, Lies and Propaganda available on Amazon will be very useful.
– doctissmo offers an excellent health record on cholesterol
What anti cholesterol diet to lower blood levels?
To reduce total cholesterol and in particular LDL or “bad cholesterol”, there are therefore several anti cholesterol measures:
> Avoid weight gain thanks to daily physical activity and a reduction in dietary lipids (foods rich in fat, fatty cooking and fried foods …) in favor of particularly complex carbohydrates (starches, cereals) and fibers (fruits and vegetables) .
> Rebalance the diet by reducing the accumulation of saturated fat (meat, cold meats, cheese, cream, butter) and trans fatty acids (hard hydrogenated margarines, pastries, pastries, croissants and similar products), and by moderate use and adequate vegetable oils and soft non-hydrogenated margarines (in trays) for spreading, cooking and seasoning. Also remember to replace your snacks with oilseeds and nuts of all kinds.
At food spring , find gourmet anti- cholesterol solutions such as:
- its mix of nuts and berries
- its organic peanut butter and 100% peanut
To give you more ideas on a daily basis, the little book of 100 anti- cholesterol recipes by Carla Bardi is ideal (100% of Amazon customers are satisfied with it).