Saudi Gazette – Ignoring high cholesterol levels isn’t a good idea, as doing so can transform a health problem into an intractable disease.

Research shows a direct link between high cholesterol levels in the blood and increased risk of heart disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease was the main cause in 24 percent of all deaths in Saudi Arabia, and 55 percent of Saudis are at risk of high cholesterol levels if they don’t protect themselves.

Saudi nutritionist at Saba one Medical Clinic, Hiba Bakhriba, said there are several causes behind high cholesterol levels, including genetic predisposition, poor diet, obesity, smoking, age, and suffering from other diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Bakhriba said that fats, full-fat foods and sauces, butter and margarine, palm oil and hydrogenated oils, and organs like liver, kidneys and brain are some of the foods that increase cholesterol levels in the blood.

To avoid high cholesterol levels people need to go to their doctors early and regularly for detection and treatment, play sports habitually, quit smoking, loose excess weight, and most importantly eat healthy food.

“Six important foods are advisable for the patient who is suffering from high cholesterol levels. Fibre is the first vital type of food to lower the cholesterol levels. Oats, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and some vegetables all contain the fibre that we need,” Bakhriba said.

Eating low fat yogurt can also lower the cholesterol levels in the blood, and oatmeal is also another vital food, with only a small portion being very useful for people suffering from high cholesterol.

She added that patients who are suffering from high cholesterol levels must also eat olive oil, soy, and small portions of nuts to lower the cholesterol level in their blood.

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