What is blood cholesterol?
Cholesterol is one of the fats that is present in blood. It may be used in the construction of cell membranes and in the manufacture of vitamin D or hormones such as cortisol, testosterone and progesterone.
Cholesterol travels in 2 types of vehicles in blood vessels:
- HDL, which cleanses excess cholesterol from the organs and transports it to the liver, where it is eliminated. We call this “good” cholesterol;
- LDL, which deposits cholesterol on artery walls and obstructs the proper circulation of blood. This is “bad” cholesterol;
Lack of “good” cholesterol and excess “bad” cholesterol will increase the risk of developing heart disease or a stroke. This is a good reason to adopt a healthy lifestyle!
Five foods to improve your cholesterol levels
1. Bran and oat flakes:
Beta-glucan fibres in oats act as a fishing net in the intestine, by naturally catching and removing cholesterol from the body before it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Get off to a good start in the morning with oat flakes! Add bran and flakes to bread, muffins and homemade biscuits.