More than half of the Spanish population has high cholesterol, according to a study by Nutrition and Cardiovascular Risk in Spain, but only 46% are aware that they suffer from it. Don't worry if you belong to this percentage, the good news is that there are some foods to lower it.
Extra virgin olive oil is a food rich in beneficial properties for our organism, capable of combating numerous illnesses. But did you know that it is a great ally for reducing bad cholesterol?
Discover why extra virgin olive oil is good for lowering cholesterol. All the keys, from how much to take to the benefits it brings.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a essential lipid for the bodyThe production of hormones, bile acids, vitamin D and other substances depends on it.
It is of fundamental importance, as the degree of permeability of cell membranes and a number of functions related to hormones and vitamin D production depend on it.
To carry out its activity optimally, it is good that it is contained in balanced amounts in the blood, in order to maintain a correct ratio between good cholesterol, HDL, and bad cholesterol, LDL.
Good cholesterol is full of monounsaturated acidsthat is to say, those that are present in natural vegetable fats, such as EVOO. When we talk about high cholesterol we mean that the level of "bad" cholesterol (LDL) is present in excess.
How to lower cholesterol with olive oil
There are some foods that lower cholesterol, such as fish, fibre-rich foods, nuts, as well as extra virgin olive oil. In fact, several studies have shown that three tablespoons of EVOO oil per day are enough to lower LDL, the bad cholesterol, and raise HDL, considered the good cholesterol.
All this is thanks to the monounsaturated fatty acids present in the oil, in particular oleic acid, which in the recommended daily amounts has the capacity to improve our health.
The recommended amounts should be spread throughout the day, in a healthy and balanced diet. In addition to this, it is essential to take other measures to reduce cholesterol, combined with a healthy diet and exercise.
Diet for high cholesterol
The basis of a good diet for high cholesterol is to replace animal fats with vegetable fats, such as extra virgin olive oil. It is best consumed raw, but it is also possible to use it in cooking. This is thanks to the fact that it is able to provide its beneficial properties, as its high percentage of oleic acid resists high temperatures.
It is also important to pay attention to the daily amounts of sodium, the consumption of eggs, sausages, dairy products, and it is advisable to consume fresh anti-cholesterol foods with a high percentage of fibre, fish and pulses, and high amounts of fruit and vegetables (at least 2 portions of each per day).
Now you know the reasons why the extra virgin olive oil is good for lowering cholesterol. If you have high levels, use EVOO in your cooking recipes and remember to consume three tablespoons a day to reduce it.