A Diet Rich In Vegetables, Fruits And Lean Meats Can Help Prevent High Cholesterol Levels
Our blood is made up of two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein, known as LDL because of its poor penetrating power, which causes clogged arteries, and high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol, which prevents excess cholesterol from being deposited in the arteries and reduces the formation of fatty plaques.
August 8 is National Cholesterol Control Day, which was established by the government in 2003 to raise awareness of diseases caused by high blood cholesterol and the importance of controlling it, and how to treat it.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 40% of Brazilians currently have high cholesterol and about 17 million people die of heart disease worldwide. This day was established because of the high number of deaths from stroke and heart disease in our country, about 300,000 per year.
Cholesterol can be thought of as a fat (lipid) produced in the body that performs essential functions, for example, in the production of hormones and vitamin D. However, excess cholesterol can have a negative impact on health as it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol is found in animal sources such as meat, whole milk, and eggs.
Our blood is made up of two types of cholesterol: LDL, also known as bad cholesterol, which enters the arteries and causes them to clog, and HDL, also known as good cholesterol, which removes excess cholesterol from the arteries, preventing fatty deposits and reducing the formation of fatty plaques. High-density lipoprotein is also known as good cholesterol.
Children And Adolescents
High cholesterol levels in childhood and adolescence are almost always associated with poor nutrition and physical inactivity. However, they can also be caused by genetic disorders or family history, such as a parent or grandparent who has had a heart attack or stroke.
According to a recent study of the Brazilian diet by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 are the highest consumers of cholesterol-containing foods. The average intake for boys was 282.1 milligrams per day and 237.9 milligrams per day for girls, with the highest average intake for both sexes among the age groups analyzed, with a recommended intake of 200 to 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day.
While high cholesterol levels are not an immediate problem for children and adolescents, they can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke for adults between the ages of 25 and 30.
Because there are no obvious symptoms, parents need to know if their child or teenager is starting to gain weight, especially if there is a family history of heart attack deaths, obesity, lack of exercise or excessive intake of saturated fat. Another indicator is to observe and monitor your cholesterol levels starting at age 10. A blood test is the only way to know if your cholesterol levels are high.
Healthy Eating Habits
Foods rich in bad cholesterol include bacon, whipped cream, fish eggs, butter cookies, butterscotch candy, chicken skin, shrimp, yellow cheese, fatty red meat, egg yolks, creamy ice cream, yogurt, lobster, etc.
Foods that already help lower cholesterol include celery, Brussels sprouts, black plums, cauliflower, papaya, blackberries, apricots, cassava, olive oil, peas, whole wheat bread, oats, oat bran, peas, carrots, wheat bran, peaches, whole grains, beans, okra, Barley, figs, and green leafy vegetables.
To avoid this disease, doctors recommend a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. Replacing whole milk and dairy products with non-fat products, eating foods free of saturated and hydrogenated fats, controlling blood pressure, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and having regular lab tests can also help prevent this disease.
Regular exercise is a good ally for a healthy life. According to the Ministry of Health, lack of exercise accounts for 54% of the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, 50% of fatal strokes, and 37% of the risk of cancer.
The type of exercise you do doesn’t matter as long as you respect your physical limitations, seek guidance from an experienced professional, and exercise in moderation. Benefits include lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, burning calories, controlling diabetes, strengthening muscles and bones, improving lung capacity, and increasing joint flexibility.
Through the National Food and Nutrition Policy, the government encourages good lifestyle habits and raises awareness of the risk of disease caused by the long-term intake of certain types of products.
Many components of the diet have been linked to the development of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia. The way food is cooked can also affect the risk of disease, so it is always recommended to choose low-temperature cooking, such as steaming, boiling, simmering, and grilling.
Dietary Guidelines for Brazil
In order to guide healthy eating habits, the Ministry of Health has developed the “Food Guide for Brazilians” as an official tool to guide healthy eating habits.
In addition, in 2011, Brazilians signed an agreement to gradually eliminate sodium from the foods they consume most; the WHO recommendation is 5 grams of salt per day.