Friday, October 15, 2010

Milagros Agurto: The good, the bad and the ugly of cholesterol

Translated from Milagros Agurto's Blog: Sano Bocado,
Poor cholesterol, vilified, humiliated and maltreated. If there is a constitutional court for fat, I'm sure this would raise their voice of protest in defense of this substance.
And is that over the years we have heard horrible things more than cholesterol and little has been told about its importance to our body.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in foods of animal origin (produced in the liver of both animals and man. Human beings produce it in the liver, but there is another way in which it enters: food).
What is the role of cholesterol?
Cholesterol is involved:
1. In the formation of bile acids. They help in digestion of fats.
2. It is important for the formation of hormones, including sex.
3. It is a precursor of vitamin D.
When the blood carries cholesterol from the intestine and liver to the organs, it does so through a joint (particles called lipoproteins, the best known are the LDL and HDL-), thus forming the C-HDL (Cholesterol HDL) and LDL-C (LDL).
The C-LDL carries cholesterol to all cells and HDL-C reflects what has been used to be stored or excreted to the outside through the bile.
Does cholesterol raise in me, when I look you and when you don’t look at me ... or when I eat too much fat?
The increase of cholesterol in the blood (known as hypercholesterolemia) shows no symptoms or signs. It is the blood test that determines the levels we have and if they are above adequate.
Cholesterol can increase —beyond genetics— by improper diet and physical inactivity. The causes are exaggerated eating food of animal origin (full fat), rich in trans fatty acids, the abusive consumption of sugar (which is not a fat, but that enters a metabolic pathway that ultimately increases the production of cholesterol) and low exercise and inactivity are the keys to increasing cholesterol.
Foods high in cholesterol:
Among others are the products (those with more fat and little meat), poultry skin (yes, the rich grilled chicken), viscera, fat from dairy products, foods made with partially hydrogenated oils or hydrogenated (these are rich in trans fatty acids) and, I stress, excessive sugar.
What happens if cholesterol is high? When cholesterol remains above the appropriate levels, there are risks to health. Between them to narrow the arteries because they fill with fat, the occurrence of a heart attack or stroke (known as stroke).
Cardiologists (and especially my friend Dr. Felix Medina) recommend that everyone should know their blood fat levels as well as know your ID. It is very important to know not only total cholesterol but also LDL and HDL, as these are what we really can make the risks. If the HDL cholesterol is high (remember the "good cholesterol or sweeper”), the health risk decreases, and this cholesterol may increase in some cases with a good workout.
Foods that help control cholesterol:
1. For their soluble fiber content, apples and oats help lower cholesterol.
2. Flaxseed by lignans and other compounds (but only if you eat the whole seed. It’s better than whole flour).
3. Lean cuts of poultry (chicken breast), alpaca meat (which contains almost no fat or cholesterol), ostrich, guinea pigs and other lean meats.
4. Fatty fish like mackerel, bonito, tuna, anchovies, salmon, etc.
5. Low-fat milk or skim.
6. Peanut and olive oil or olives, you can be the sacha inchi and sesame seeds.
7. Fruit (not abused by the sugar content) and vegetables.
8. And plenty of exercise.
Food for a person with high cholesterol need not be boring. Simply, we must choose the proper cooking.
For example, a person with high cholesterol can eat rice with chicken, instead of frying chicken with the skin, could roast it in the overn having previously removed the skin. Instead of a breaded fried in oil, cooked in the oven is equally delicious. Rather than adding three teaspoons one is enough. And these are the little secrets.
What I recommend is that the apple and oatmeal be present in the diet. The first has soluble fiber and oatmeal beta-glucans that are already known to help control cholesterol (and if you eat oat fiber, much better).
The most important thing is to have a proper exercise routine and non-pharmacological treatment and not to neglect what the cardiologist or the physician recommends. Finally, it’s the combination that makes the strength: food-medicine-exercise. All is needed to maintain adequate levels of such dreaded substance that is also important for the body.
Milagros Agurto

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