Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like compound that belongs to a class of molecules called steroids. It's found in many foods, in your bloodstream and in all your body's cells. If you had a handful of cholesterol, it might feel like a soft, melted candle.
Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. The liver produces 75% of the cholesterol that circulates in our blood. The other 25% comes from food. At normal levels, cholesterol actually plays an important role in helping cells do their jobs.
- Beans and legumes - Beans like kidney beans (rajma), bengal Gram (chana) and chick peas (kabuli chana), are rich in dietary fibre which help in reducing cholesterol level and thus, can prevent the rise of blood sugar levels. According to study, dietary pulse intake significantly reduces LDL cholesterol levels. Trials of longer duration and higher quality are needed to verify these results. The data showed LDL cholesterol was reduced by 5% in response to eating 130 grams of pulses per day. This is equivalent to one small can or about a third of a 400 gram (large) can of baked beans.
- Nuts- In a review study of of 25 intervention trials, eating approximately 67g of nuts a day (about half a cup) led to a 5.1% reduction in total cholesterol and 7.4% for LDL. Other Studies have shown that eating a whole walnut daily, for a month helps in lowering cholesterol by 5.4 per cent and LDL cholesterol by 9.3 per cent. Almonds and cashews are other good options for treating cholesterol.
- Rice bran oil – With the balance of polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) and monounsaturated fats (MUFA), rice bran oil is one of healthiest cooking oils. As it contains the right amount of oryzanol, which is an antioxidant, rice bran oil thus decreases cholesterol absorption and increases our body's ability to eliminate excess cholesterol.
- Eggplant- Eggplants are a nutrient-dense food, meaning they contain a good amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber in few calories. Drank eggplant juice had a significant reduction in their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. The walls of their blood vessels relaxed, improving blood flow. These positive effects were due to nasunin( a free radical scavenger) and terpene phytonutrients ( plant derived nutrients) in eggplant.
- Avoid junk food- Oxycholesterol can be formed when foods such as burgers and steaks are fried or grilled, causing their fats to react with oxygen. The new research indicates that eating foods high in the substance gives an extra boost to blood cholesterol levels and is more likely to damage arteries than ordinary cholesterol.
Source: telegraph.co.uk, timesofindia