What is blood cholesterol?

3 March, 2014 , ,

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!

5 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.

2. Nuts

Nuts are high in fibre and good fats, which makes them allies of choice for improving cholesterol levels. Eat them regularly but in small amounts! Include them in salads, sprinkle them on yogurts or crush them to turn them into a piecrust!

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Author

Joëlle Emond

Joëlle Emond

Registered Dietitian, RD at Clinic NutriSimple

Passionate about food and health, Joëlle Emond always finds a way to convey her desire to cook and eat healthy! Good communicator, she can be found both in print media and on television. She is the founder of 123Nutrition, a company through which she delivers lectures on healthy eating.

Joëlle Emond

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