Cholesterol is a fat substance essential for normal bodily functions, but having too much amount in the blood can cause serious health problems. When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it can clog the main blood vessels that supply the heart. This leads to a condition called coronary heart disease, which is a major cause of heart attack. Heart attacks can occur when cholesterol deposits in the blood vessels rupture, causing blood clots to develop.
Blood clots can then block the blood supply to the heart, triggering a heart attack.
There are two types of cholesterol, known as & # 39; good & # 39; or HDL cholesterol and & # 39; bad & # 39; or LDL cholesterol.
HDL takes cholesterol away from cells and returns to the liver, where it can be broken down or removed from the body as a waste product. The higher the HDL level, the better.
LDL brings cholesterol to the cells that need it, but if there is too much cholesterol for cells to use, it can accumulate in the arterial wall, causing heart disease.
People with high cholesterol can reduce it by following a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and contains foods or supplements that can reduce cholesterol levels.
One supplement that can help do this is a type of fiber called beta glucan.
When you eat beta glucan, it forms a gel that binds cholesterol and bile in the intestine. Bile is made from cholesterol.
This helps limit the amount of cholesterol absorbed from the intestine into the blood.
The liver must then take more cholesterol from the blood to make more bile, which also lowers cholesterol.
Beta glucans can be taken as supplements sold in health stores, and are also found in grains such as wheat and barley.
Wheat seeds are a better source of beta-glucan than processed grains, because beta glucans are found in the outer layer of grains.
When grains are filtered, for example to make white bread and white pasta, the outer layer is removed, meaning they lose some nutrients.
Heart UK recommends consuming around two to four servings of wheat or barley-based products per day.
This will give you about 3g of beta glucan, which should help lower cholesterol.
"There are some foods that are not only part of a healthy diet, they also actively help lower your cholesterol," Heart UK said.
"Try to eat some of this every day. The more you add to your diet, the more cholesterol will lower your cholesterol, especially if you also reduce saturated fat."