Lowering cholesterol: 5 mistakes and 3 tips – This is what you can do if your cholesterol level is too high
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Lowering cholesterol: 5 mistakes and 3 tips – This is what you can do if your cholesterol level is too high

Misconception 1: If you have high cholesterol levels, you shouldn’t eat fat or eggs

Luckily that is wrong. There are even fatty foods like nuts that can help lower cholesterol. Nuts are therefore on the breakfast table every day for former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his wife!

Other foods – such as toast or pasta – contain hardly any fat, but are converted by the body into triglycerides (the most important blood fats alongside cholesterol), which can clog the veins or are stored in fatty tissue. So a closer look is important!

The German Nutrition Society recommends limiting your daily fat intake to 60 to 80 grams of fat per day. In fact, Germans consume around 100 to 120 grams on average. Are you one of them?

This amount is quickly reached when you consider that a bratwurst with fries and mayo already contains 87 grams of fat. The recommended daily ration is already covered with a bar of chocolate and 100 grams of chips!

Goodbye, breakfast egg?

Fortunately, we now know that this is not true. Eggs are quite healthy because they contain high-quality protein, fat and few carbohydrates. They also provide us with various vitamins such as A, D and B12 as well as folic acid, sodium, calcium and more.

Simply avoiding foods containing cholesterol – for example eggs – hardly changes the cholesterol value. However, dosing protein correctly remains important!

Misconception 2: Cholesterol is bad

Well, cholesterol really has a really bad image. Surprising for many: Cholesterol is essential for life. The body needs blood fat to build cell walls, form vitamin D and produce hormones, such as the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone.

Too much – especially the “wrong” LDL cholesterol – is still not good. Here we explain how you can find out what it looks like for you.

Misconception 3: Only medication can help against high cholesterol levels

Many people who have elevated blood lipid levels are prescribed medication by their doctor – so-called statins. At first it sounds reasonable, because their effectiveness has been proven by numerous independent studies.

However, more exercise and a change in diet should always precede medication. This means that the values ​​can definitely be reduced and tablets may no longer be necessary.

If the cholesterol levels are permanently significantly elevated and there are other risk factors, treatment with medication is often necessary. However, you should keep an eye on the following: Statins increase the risk of diabetes because they can increase blood sugar levels.

Misconception 4: Cholesterol is equal to cholesterol

It’s worth taking a look at the differences: Cholesterol is a blood fat that is in… LDL (low-density lipoproteins) and HDL (high-density lipoproteins). About three quarters are produced by the body, the rest we get from food.

LDL is considered the “bad” cholesterol, the value should therefore be low because: Increased LDL cholesterol is deposited in the walls of the blood vessels and leads to vascular calcification. As a result, the vessels narrow, less blood passes through and the tissue is not adequately supplied with oxygen. Consequences include angina pectoris, heart attack, stroke or dementia.

A sufficiently high HDL value, on the other hand, is favorable: It transports excess cholesterol from the vascular wall back to the liver to convert it into bile acid and excrete it.

Misconception 5: Those who are slim have low cholesterol levels

Not always: Contrary to popular belief, there are also overweight people with normal cholesterol levels and slim people with high cholesterol levels. The most recent example: the very slim wife of former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who had higher cholesterol levels than her husband despite a healthy diet – and has now gotten this under control with exercise and a targeted diet!

So what could be the reason if a person is slim, eats healthily and yet has values ​​that are too high? Then the high cholesterol level could be inherited – this is then called hypercholesterolemia.

According to a Danish study, it affects about one in 300 people worldwide, but only about 15 percent of those affected know about their disease and the associated risk.

Quick and easy tips for everyday life – How to keep your cholesterol under control

Tip 1: This is a good way to estimate your own cholesterol levels

To determine whether you have an elevated cholesterol level, it is sufficient to have your blood cholesterol levels measured. Total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol as well as triglycerides are examined for the diagnosis.

One is considered cheap Total cholesterol level of less than 200 mg/dl and a LDL cholesterol level of less than 115 mg/dl.

What’s also worth it for you: Looking at the ratio of the two types of cholesterol to each other, the so-called LDL/HDL ratio: If there are no other risk factors, this value should be below 4.

Tip 2: With these simple nutritional tips you can keep your cholesterol under control

Good to know: With a balanced diet, blood fat levels and other health risks such as high blood pressure, obesity and type 2 diabetes can be positively influenced!

Nutrition tips – what you should pay attention to:

  • Reduce simple carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, potatoes, white bread or toast and opt for whole grain products, as they keep you full for a long time and are good for the intestines.
  • Make sure you include lots of vegetables in your daily menu; low-sugar fruits such as dark berries are also suitable
  • Top tip: Oats, for example as oat flakes or oat bran! It contains the valuable beta-glucan, which can help regulate cholesterol levels.
  • Protein – but right! Low-fat dairy products, nuts or legumes 2-3 times a day, occasionally eggs, fish or meat are a good mix.
  • What people tend to overlook: Hidden fats and sugars in ready meals and fast food – pay more attention to them.
  • The right fats even help lower cholesterol levels: linseed oil, olive oil, rapeseed oil instead of butter or lard.
  • Nuts act like medicine: 1 small handful daily can lower cholesterol by 10 to 20%.
  • No sweet drinks like sodas; Juices always as spritzers, little alcohol.

In addition to the right diet, small tricks in everyday life can also help lower cholesterol levels in the kitchen:

  • Remove the pieces of fat from the meat and do not eat them
  • It is better to buy dairy products with reduced fat and pay attention to the sugar in the ingredients
  • It is better to cook food in the oven rather than frying it in a pan – this also saves fat
  • Use coated pans – this way you have to use less fat
  • Favorite trick: Add the food after the fat has heated up in the pan – this way the food absorbs less of it.

And don’t forget: it’s all about movement!

You’ve probably already guessed: Diet is only one side of the coin – abstaining from alcohol, avoiding smoking, regular exercise and weight loss are other pillars on which a low cholesterol value is based.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 2.5 to 5 hours of physical activity per week – such as walking, swimming or cycling!

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