Crucial to the functioning of the body, cholesterol is frightening. Its bad reputation is linked to its role in the formation of fatty plaques.

Cholesterol is essential to life. Indeed, it plays a fundamental role in the body, participating in the structure and constitution of the membranes that surround cells. Moreover, it is the source of the synthesis of many hormones, including sex hormones, but also the production of bile acids, necessary for digestion. Molecule of the family of lipids, cholesterol is present in foods of animal origin. But the food source is not unique because our bodies and our own cells also produce cholesterol, especially in the liver. It is transported in the blood of large molecules: lipoproteins.

Good or bad cholesterol

When the blood level of circulating cholesterol is too high (hereditary factors or excess intake through food), there is a risk. It is important for every adult over twenty years, to know their cholesterol levels. A complete lipid profile includes total cholesterol and its various blood fractions. The standard rate of total cholesterol is less than or equal to 2 g / l (5.2 mmol / l), LDL cholesterol or less 1.2 g / l, that of HDL cholesterol greater than or equal to 0, 45 g / l. Cholesterol and high LDL or HDL cholesterol reduced should be guarded.

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To lower his cholesterol

Even if the power is not the only factor, studies and recent epidemiological data have led physicians to codify a number of rules for the nutritional management of hyperlipidaemia in general and particularly of hypercholesterolemia . In this field, prescription diet should nevertheless be personalized and above all be part of a multifactorial approach to prevention with smoking cessation, treatment of hypertension, diabetes and obesity potential, and encouraging the Regular physical activity. Blood lipids, particularly cholesterol, increase in 20 to 30% of people are overweight. If obese or overweight, the first treatment is then reduced calorie diet adapted to normalize weight. The slimming effect will result in a correction of the figures with lower LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol.

Food risks

The dietary fat should not exceed 30% of daily caloric intake. Pass complex carbohydrates (pasta, bread, whole grains) to 55% of daily caloric intake reduces the proportion of fat. Among lipids, dietary cholesterol and saturated fatty acids of animal fats are responsible for elevated blood cholesterol. It recommends limiting the intake of dietary cholesterol to 300 mg per day. Foods that contain the most are egg yolk (about 250 mg yellow), butter, organ meats (brain, liver, kidneys, sweetbreads), fatty cheeses (the cheese was more drained and pressed, the more fat), sour cream.

It is therefore advisable not to eat more than 4 eggs per week, over a dish of offal fortnight, not to abuse their preferred cheeses and yogurt and cottage cheese with reduced fat content , avoid cooking with butter and cream sauce. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal fats: fatty meats (lamb, pork, lamb), sausages, butter, whole milk products, but also in some vegetable oils: palm oil, vegetaline. To reduce consumption of saturated fats, we must focus on lean meats (veal, poultry, horse, rabbit, lean beef), preferably roasted or grilled. We will remove skin from poultry, meats should be avoided and we will remove the cakes and pastries. Finally, limit your alcohol consumption. Only the red wine taken in small quantities would have a favorable vascular role.

Of protective foods

Conversely, foods high in cholesterol or unsaturated fatty acids, foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and fiber – soluble fiber in particular have a cholesterol lowering effect. Nutritionists therefore advocate on their behalf. The polyunsaturated fatty acids are present in vegetable oils: soybean, canola, walnuts, sunflower (rich in omega-6) and in fish (omega-3), especially the most fats: salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, herring. Most plants (fruits, vegetables, cereals) provide soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Legumes, fruit pectin (apples, grapefruit) are also good sources of soluble fiber. The total dietary fiber should be about 30 g per day.