Ever Wonder! Why People Struggle With Their Cholesterol Levels?
The liver is the main organ responsible for managing circulating fat levels. One of its main functions is to store blood and regulate the flow of blood to other organs.
To lower cholesterol levels, in addition to adjusting your diet, you need to take care of your liver in your diet and check for liver dysfunction. Greasy tongue, digestive difficulties, nausea, altered bowel rhythm, constipation, and bad breath are common symptoms in patients with dyslipidemia. The reason for this is liver dysfunction in many cases, which is why it is convenient to start treatment.
The result is an increase in cholesterol, triglycerides or liver enzymes. The dietary and nutritional approach to dyslipidemia needs to take a holistic approach. Here are the deficiencies in dietary treatment that prevent proper problem solving, dietary mistakes, which foods do not help, and which foods are best suited to treat the symptoms.
Fighting cholesterol: acting on the cause rather than the consequence
The liver is the main organ responsible for managing the fat content of the blood circulation. One of its main functions is to store blood and regulate the flow of blood to other organs. For this reason, dysfunction of the liver directly leads to poor blood quality and saturation of the blood with fat and cholesterol, which over time leads to elevated plasma cholesterol levels, which in turn increases vascular risk.
Thus, liver dysfunction usually occurs when lipid levels (high LDL cholesterol; low HDL cholesterol; high triglycerides) or transaminases (liver enzymes) are altered – without the need for pathology – but this liver dysfunction manifests itself at different levels. Some symptoms or disorders alert us that our liver needs dietary support to restore function
- Painful heaviness in the hilar region of the liver.
- Muddiness and difficulty digesting (especially with greasy foods, creams and nut butters).
- Vomiting after meals (sometimes accompanied by nausea).
- Altered bowel rhythm with a tendency to constipation.
- Bad breath or halitosis.
- Dreams after meals.
- More or less intolerant to certain foods.
- Urticaria or itchy skin.
Elevated plasma cholesterol levels are usually the result of this underlying liver disease, which must be corrected so that the patient does not remain dependent on medication.
High cholesterol: the best dietary choice
In the case of dyslipidemia, if no heart disease requiring medication has occurred, a combination of dietary prevention is needed. This should not be limited to recommending cholesterol-regulating supplements (omega-3, soy lecithin, phytosterols), but should include a thorough review of the diet and associated dietary changes.
- Limiting consumption of foods high in cholesterol and saturated fat, especially – to be clear – trans fats (which promote cholesterol formation)
- Increased intake of soluble and insoluble fiber, which mops up and cleanses the digestive tract and cholesterol-containing bile salts
- Strong antioxidants that slow down lipid oxidation and hardening of the arteries
- Regular consumption of certain protective foods: nuts and oily fish, eggplant, oats, okra and certain fruits, as described in the article “The ten most effective foods for lowering cholesterol” published in EROSKI CONSUMER. The choice of food is essential to regulate cholesterol levels and cannot be relied on drugs.
- In any case, to help the liver recover without further weakening or irritating it, it is recommended to avoid: coffee, tobacco, any alcoholic beverage, vinegar (preferably flavored with lemon juice or a mixture of lemon and lime) and excessive salt.
Dietary care of the liver
In terms of nutrition, in addition to the key aspects mentioned above, the causes of liver dysfunction need to be studied and clarified in order to correct dietary patterns and support phytotherapy or dietary supplements in the most effective way. Of course, it is important to note that the use of dietary supplements and herbal remedies must be supported by a health professional. Individual consumption without advice, whether it is the type, dosage, timing or frequency recommended, can have adverse health effects.
- Inadequate bile production, which manifests as indigestion. The role of bile in the digestive process is to help digest fats. They are also responsible for eliminating waste products from the blood (from detoxification and liver cleansing). You may experience heartburn, a burning sensation in the esophagus (because of increased bile acids and why, this may be mistaken for an upset stomach) or heartburn.
In this case, it is best to increase the consumption of foods and plants that have a cholagogic effect (increase bile secretion) and a choleretic effect (stimulate the elimination of accumulated bile in the gallbladder). Also, despite the good lipids of fatty foods such as nuts, their consumption should be limited. Artichoke is the best plant to fight against digestive difficulties and it has choleretic and diuretic effects.
- Disruption of the detoxification or purification process. Foods already digested in the intestine are transformed into a mixture of liquids: chili formed by bile, pancreatic juice and emulsified lipids from the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). The child reaches the liver through the portal vein, where it is filtered and feeds the liver into blood, which is then sent to the heart. This blood contains nutrients from food, as well as possible toxins, ingested drug components and any substances that enter the bloodstream from the digestive tract. Before this blood can be distributed throughout the body, it must be “purified” in the liver. If the liver’s detoxification process does not proceed properly, the quality of the blood circulating in the body will be poor.
In this case, foods that require the liver to work will be blocked: dairy products (especially cheese with high fat content), animal proteins (eggs, red meat, sausages, chicken with skin), excessive salt and salty meat, fried foods, nuts. High intake of drugs (antibiotics, anti-anxiety drugs, antipsychotics, contraceptives) can hinder or prevent the clearance phase of the liver. In these cases, the most applicable plants are black radish and turmeric, plants known to have a high detoxification capacity of the liver.
- Liver pain caused by prolonged heavy use of drugs, foreign bodies, viral infections, accumulation of toxins, etc. Some drugs (contraceptives, paracetamol, alcohol) can be seriously toxic to the liver if their metabolic wastes are not eliminated properly.