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Bad cholesterol: New Guidelines Suggest Minimizing It To Avoid Strokes and Heart Attacks

Last updated on October 8, 2019

To prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease it is necessary to reduce as much as possible the levels of bad cholesterol and, to do so, it is necessary to intervene first of all on diet and lifestyle.

According to the new dyslipidemia guidelines recently published by the European Society of Atherosclerosis and the European Society of Cardiology, bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) must be as low as possible if you want to prevent heart attacks and strokes, responsible for 30% of deaths and disabilities worldwide.

For the primary prevention in patients with low risk, LDL cholesterol should not exceed 116 mg/dL, while in the case of moderate risk the limit drops to 100 mg/dL.
In these two cases, to reduce blood levels of LDL cholesterol, it is not necessary to follow drug therapy but it is sufficient to intervene on nutrition and lifestyle.

The discourse is different for high or very high-risk patients, for whom drug treatment is recommended to reduce LDL cholesterol by 50%: bad cholesterol should not exceed 70 mg/dL in those with high risk and 55 mg/dL in those with a high risk. very high-risk patients.

However, it is very important to intervene first of all on diet and lifestyle as a diet rich in saturated fatty acids, sedentary life and weight gain negatively affect the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

In food choices, the guidelines recommend reducing calorie intake and preferring whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, lean fish and grilled or steamed white meats. Refined cereals, potatoes, caloric sweets, red meats, eggs, and cheeses should be consumed in moderation.

Alcohol consumption should also be severely restricted (less than 10 grams per day) and smoking should be stopped.

Physical activity for both normal weight and overweight or obese people is also important to maintain blood levels of lipids at optimal values.

In the case of excess weight, it is essential to reduce body weight, even modest, which is achieved by reducing the intake of calories and increasing energy expenditure through physical activity.

How do you fight “bad” cholesterol, especially if you already have a high cardiovascular risk?

Over 200 researches conducted in the last 25 years have led to the most obvious conclusion: the lower the values of bad cholesterol, the lower the incidence of Cerebro-cardio vascular events.

The work of the European Society of Cardiology and the European Society of Atherosclerosis has unveiled new European guidelines to control cholesterol.

Overwhelming evidence from experimental, epidemiological, genetic, randomized clinical studies is now available, and higher cholesterol levels are a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Lowering LDL cholesterol reduces the risk regardless of its basic concentration. This means that in people at high risk of heart attack and stroke reducing cholesterol is an effective measure even when their starting levels are below average,” said Colin Baigent of the University of Oxford.

The research established new target levels of C-LDL (bad cholesterol) to be respected for those patients at high cardiovascular risk. “C-LDL is the causal factor of atherosclerotic disease (blood vessel obstruction) and therefore therapeutic strategies should aim to lower it as much as possible, according to the concept less is better,” said Alberto Zambon, Associate of Medicine Internal at the University of Padua.

When we talk about cholesterol, we have to divide it between good and bad: while the first is identified as HDL and carries liver cholesterol for its disposal, the second is LDL cholesterol that allows molecules to carry the cholesterol produced from the liver to the cells.

As a result, LDL cholesterol is harmful because it could settle along the walls of the arteries and promote the process of atherosclerosis, which is the basis of several cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack.

The new guidelines include treatment with PCSK9 inhibitors as evolocumab as a strategy to reduce the risk of Cerebro-cardio vascular events in patients with a history of heart attack and stroke. They also indicate that anti-cholesterol drugs should be used as effectively as possible in at-risk patients.

As Alberico Catapano of the University of Milan pointed out: “Patients under treatment who are already close to the target threshold will be given another therapy that can provide a further reduction of at least 50%”.

The new targets identified of 55 mg/dl (for patients at very high risk) and 40mg/dl (for patients with a recurrent vascular event within two years despite optimized statin therapy), according to Zambon “witness how timely control of the patient is bad cholesterol becomes an essential aspect in taking care of patients.”

Recommended drugs include statin( HMG-CoA ) (not recommended for premenopausal women who want a pregnancy), which slows down the production of LDL cholesterol. In addition, the population is invited to follow a healthier lifestyle, with a healthy diet, to do more physical activity and avoid smoking.

Are Mulberries good or bad for cholesterol?

They fight cholesterol and anemia. This fruit, in fact, helps to compensate for any iron deficiencies and reduces levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. All this for the presence of fibers but also for the abundance of phytosterols. Mulberries increase the side effects of drugs to reduce cholesterol. Within these fruits are contained phytosterols, molecules of plant origin that decrease the absorption of cholesterol at the intestinal level helping to reduce by about 15% the amount of dangerous fat circulating in the blood.

As for the lipid profile, the predominant fatty acid is linoleic acid, the intake of which through food is crucial both because our body is not able to synthesize it but also because it guarantees the reduction of concentration triglycerides and Ldl cholesterol or ‘bad’ cholesterol. Mulberries, in the fight against cholesterol, are valuable allies that lead to lifestyle regulation and healthy eating. In fact, used as diuretics mulberries, especially white ones, fight the problem of constipation and also act on the body bringing relief.

Mulberries Diet:

For a healthy snack, mulberries are ideal. The advice is to consume them raw. You can, however, also put in a fruit salad, yogurt and even combine them with cooked foods such as risottos. If we want something more gluttonous they can also be used in the preparation of syrups, popsicles, granites, jams, cakes. Good mulberry jams.

With mulberries, you can prepare jams and cakes. Good mulberry granita that is used especially on hot summer days. In addition, mulberries can be added to creams, ice creams, and yogurt. Eating before bed helps counteract insomnia. They can also be tried in the salad where they bring a touch of perfect originality. Finally, with the leaves, you can make infusions from diuretic and hypoglycemic properties.

What are the benefits of mulberries?

They are a fruit of a few calories because they provide about 40 kcal per 100 grams. They contain good amounts of iron but also potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. So many health benefits. They are a good source of resveratrol, a powerful phytonutrient that some scholars believe prevents cancer and helps in the fight against cancer.

This same substance would be able to prolong life. In Chinese medicine, mulberries are considered a blood tonic because they clean it. For their high iron content mulberries are an excellent food to use to treat anemia.

The high content of vitamin C makes this fruit an excellent ally in the treatment of flu and colds. In the past, the juice from mulberries was used in the form of mouthwash. It would be effective in case of inflammation of the mouth and throat and to prevent tooth decay.

The presence of zeaxanthin, an important carotenoid, protects the retina from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays through filtration activity. Mulberries have a good content of vitamin K, iron, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. That’s why mulberries up to an ideal food for the formation and maintenance of bone tissue.

Mulberries delay brain aging and keep it alert. They provide him with football needs. With mulberries, there are no real contraindications.

How to lower cholesterol

Cholesterol, the fat present in the blood, is of paramount importance for the well-being of our body as long as it remains in a range of normal values. However, when certain the number of targets is exceeded, we are more exposed to the risk of cardiovascular disease. In some cases, it is possible to avoid taking drugs simply by following the right diet and choosing some effective natural remedies that can keep fats in the blood at bay. So let’s find out how to lower cholesterol naturally.

We talk in particular about LDL cholesterol known as “bad” as opposed to HDL considered “good”. Recently, among other things, the parameters have changed: the new guidelines by the European Society of Cardiology (Esc) bring down to 100 the limit of bad cholesterol that previously should not have exceeded 190.

But what can we actually do to avoid high cholesterol? It is essential to act at the food level in such a way as to prevent too much fat from accumulating in the blood but also to stop pursuing wrong habits such as smoking, consuming too much alcohol or still being sedentary.

Natural remedies to lower cholesterol

Physical activity

With the term “natural remedy” we generally indicate treatments based on herbs, plants or other natural substances and we forget that the most natural thing for our body is to move. Regular physical activity is a simple system that we all have at our disposal to stay healthy, perfect also to keep cholesterol at bay. It is enough to take a brisk walk every day for 30-40 minutes.

Omega 3

Sometimes your doctor can prescribe omega 3 supplements to keep cholesterol at bay, in all those cases for example when it is not possible to arrive with the diet to proper intake of these essential fatty acids.

Fermented red rice

Among the most suitable natural remedies for lowering cholesterol is fermented red rice in some cases prescribed instead of statin. It is particular rice that thanks to the action of the yeast Monascus purpureus, ferments changing color and buying new properties.

Garlic

Among the many virtues of garlic is also to keep fat levels in the blood at bay. It is used to lower both cholesterol and triglycerides, often these two values are high at the same time.

Artichoke and Dandelion

As for herbs, dandelion or artichoke are often recommended in the form of infusions, mother tinctures or tablets. Both act by supporting the liver’s work in eliminating excess fat. Thanks to the presence of fibers, its absorption is also reduced.

It is important to keep cholesterol at bay and then maintain a shaped weight and check with the help of a doctor for the presence of other diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

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