An article on Nigerian Foods High in Cholesterol (cholesterol rich Nigerian diets), Nigerian foods without cholesterol, Nigerian food low in cholesterol.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a viscous type of fat (lipid) from the liver. It is needed by the body for digestion, steriod hormones and vitamin D production. It is also a key component of the composition of cell membranes.
Apart from body supply, cholesterol and triglycerides can be obtained in foods called cholesterol foods. Triglyceride, such as cholesterol, is dangerous to health when there is too much in the body.
Types of Cholesterol
Cholesterol travels in the blood in forms known as lipoproteins.These packages are made of fat (lipid) on the inside and proteins on the outside. There are two main lipoproteins that serves as cholesterol transport media:
1. HDL Cholesterol – High density lipid or HDL cholesterol is often called ” good cholesterol. HDL takes excess cholesterol in cells and takes it to the liver where it will make it a waste product.
2. LDL Cholesterol – According to medicine.net, low-density lipoproteins (LDL) contain a higher ratio of cholesterol to protein and are thought of as the “bad” cholesterol. Elevated levels of LDL lipoprotein increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease, by helping form cholesterol plaque along the inside of artery walls.
Over time, as plaque buildup (plaque deposits) increases, the artery narrows (atherosclerosis) and blood flow decreases. If the plaque ruptures, it can cause a blood clot to form that prevents any blood flow. This clot is the cause of a heart attack or myocardial infarction if the clot occurs in one of the coronary arteries in the heart.
To be healthy and avoid serious diseases, you must eat foods rich in HDL cholesterol and avoid foods that are rich in LDL cholesterol.
What are triglycerides?
Triglyceride is the broad name for fats in the body. It comes from food, gives extra energy to the body and can be broken down to glucose during starvation. Excessive triglyceride is stored in fat cells called adipocytes. If there is too much triglyceride in the body, it can cause serious diseases such as heart and blood vessel diseases, high blood pressure, peripheral vascular diseases and stroke. Triglycerides may increase cholesterol-containing plaques if levels of LDL are high and HDL are low.
What are the symptoms of high cholesterol in the blood?
Having high cholesterol in your blood shows no obvious symptoms and that’s why regular check-ups are important with a doctor. You’ll only know it is high when you do a blood test. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can cause chest pains, myocardial infarction(heart attack), stroke and atherosclerosis. High cholesterol level is also a major risk factor for sudden death.
What are the causes of high cholesterol?
Many factors and foods can multiply cholesterol in our body such as:
➡️High cholesterol foods or food with lots of saturated fat and trans fat
➡️Lack of exercise
➡️overweight or obese
➡️Genetics or inherited from the family
➡️High blood pressure
What are the tests to determine if you have high cholesterol?
The amount of cholesterol and triglyceride can be seen in the body with blood test called lipid profile. By the blood test, it can see if the fat is excess in your system.
Normal cholesterol level must be 200 mg/dl and below. It’s dangerous if the amount is more than this especially if it reaches or exceed 240 mg/dl. Also if the amount of LDL cholesterol reaches 190 mg/dl and above.
The normal range of serum triglycerides are 150 mg/dl and below. It’s too high if it reaches 200 mg/dl and above
Consult your doctor to give you proper aid to your high cholesterol.
Nigerian Foods High in Cholesterol (cholesterol rich Nigerian diets)
The list below are foods especially Nigerian foods that have very high cholesterol content especially bad cholesterol. These foods should be eaten with moderation as you cannot really cut them from your meal plan. Nigerian staple foods are actually fat and carbohydrate laden.
1. Chicken skin
2. Turkey skin
3. Junks (buns, sharwamma)
5. Oil meat
6. eggs (cooked or fried)
7. Duck meat
8. Cow intestine (ring, roundabout)
9. Pasta (spaghetti, macaroni)
10. Animal internal organs: Organ meats such as liver, kidneys, and sweetbreads.
11. Diary products such as milk, some yoghurts, etc
16. Fried foods
19. Fast foods
20. Processed meats, such as sausages, bacon and hot dogs, are high-cholesterol foods that should be limited.
22. Red meat
23. Pork (pig meat)
24. Some cakes
How is high cholesterol treated?
Combination of the following is required for a normal cholesterol level:
➡️Balanced diet rich in omega-3 to lower triglyceride
➡️Avoiding foods with lots of saturated fats like fat meat, butter and cheese
➡️Having enough exercise
How to avoid high cholesterol? Nigerian foods that lower cholesterol
Reduce the consumption of saturated fat. Eat healthy foods rich in HDL cholesterol such as:
· Dark chocolate
· Olive oil
· Food rich in omega-3 like tuna and mackerel
➡️ Brown rice
➡️green leafy vegetables
➡️Nuts – Tiger Nut, Almonds, and Walnuts
Aside from eating healthy foods, practice exercising every day to make the body stronger and shed some fats. Avoid smoking because it not only a risk factor for cholesterol, it also causes cancer and other severe diseases.