Heart-Friendly Diet Affects Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fatty substance necessary for the body, acting as a building material of cells and affecting, among other things, the formation of vitamin D, hormones and bile acids. The liver produces cholesterol itself. In addition, we get it from food, including meat, milk, butter, cheese and eggs.
When there is too much cholesterol in the body, it becomes harmful. Hard saturated fat, animal fat, some vegetable fats and trans-fatty acids brought about by chemical processes and heating increase harmful LDL cholesterol.
An elevated cholesterol level is one of the greatest risks for cardio-vascular diseases. High cholesterol does not show or feel, so the levels of cholesterol should be regularly measured.
Cold-pressed rapeseed oil has been found to reduce the amounts of both the total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in serum. Studies indicate that cold-pressed rapeseed oil reduces the cholesterol level in serum more than regular rapeseed oil or hydrogenated margarine made from rapeseed oil. The difference may be due to either lecithin contained in cold-pressed rapeseed oil or trans-fatty acids contained in hard margarines. Lecithin decreases serum cholesterol whereas trans-fatty acids increase it.
Cholesterol levels can be affected by changing one's dietary habits. Avoiding hard fat and replacing it with soft products based on vegetable fat is the first step in maintaining heart health. Fish, whole grain products, vegetables, berries and fruits also belong to a heart-friendly diet.
Recommended Cholesterol Levels
- Total cholesterol below 5.0 mmol / l
- LDL cholesterol below 3.0 mmol / l
- HDL cholesterol over 1.0 mmol / l
For a person suffering from coronary heart disease, diabetes or some other vascular disease, the following values are recommended: total cholesterol under 4.5, and LDL cholesterol under 2.5.
Rapeseed oil reduces cardiovascular risk.