Islamabad - When it comes to having the appropriate nutrition, the element of cholesterol is given special importance. In this article we will describe about the remedies through which you can keep a check on your cholesterol rate and be tension free of the related complications.

Cholesterol is defined as a steroid alcohol, which is present in animal tissues mostly - the brain, spinal cord and fat layer - functioning as a protective agent for the skin and at the level of layer that covers brain cells. The importance of cholesterol for men is that it acts as a detoxifier in the bloodstream and a precursor to other steroids. Present in the cell membrane, it plays a vital role in maintaining the permeability and fluidity. It also is an important constituent in the synthesis of Vitamin D, bile acids (which help in the process of digestion and absorption of fats in the small intestine) and steroidal hormones (important in the maintenance the normal body functions of the body).

Increase in levels of cholesterol, leads to pathologies including gallstones (formation of stones in the gall bladder) and arteriosclerosis (clotting or blocking of the blood vessels). 20-25 percent of this compound is synthesized in the liver

As we have described what cholesterol is, let us now switch to the tips and tricks through which you can maintain or keep a check on your cholesterol levels.

First and foremost rule of keeping your cholesterol level intact is by maintaining your fat intake. Studies show that you should only specify 20 percent fat in your daily caloric intake. These fats should be good fats. By good fats, we are referring to plant and seafood sources. Such foods have high essential fatty acids, such as Omega-3, which helps in lowering fat levels in blood, thus decreasing the chances of vascular diseases. The incorporation of fiber, nuts and garlic in your diet (in a moderate amount) will help you to lower your cholesterol levels.

By exercising and building a good quality muscular physique, you can get rid of the excess body fat. As mentioned earlier, good HDL levels are important in maintaining a good and sound heart.

Drinking green tea is a smart and healthier option. Green tea is composed of compounds that can help in lowering the bad cholesterol levels. Smoking is a definitely not a good habit and it has to go. Smoking reduces levels of HDL and can contribute to heart disease. Apart from your lifestyle changes, it is important to take the required medications if there is increased risk of heart disease. Different medications are available. Some of them are statins, niacin, fibrates, zetia, bile acid sequestrants. Statins are the most effective drugs used for cholesterol control.

Wild mushroom poisoning prompts warning from doctors

Doctors have warned food foragers not to eat unknown wild mushrooms after a woman had to undergo an emergency liver transplant, days after eating poisonous fungi.

According to the study, the patient, an unnamed immigrant, first arrived in hospital after eating mushrooms she had foraged with her husband in a local park. Her husband had previous foraging experience from living in another country, and mistakenly identified a Canadian mushroom as safe when it was actually poisonous. About 12 hours after eating the mushrooms, the 52-year-old arrived in hospital with acute abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Doctors identified the mushroom she’d eaten as poisonous, and 36 hours after consuming the plant, the woman was transferred to an intensive care unit and placed on an on-call list for an urgent liver transplant.

Luckily, the patient received a healthy liver from a deceased donor and recovered from the incident. But doctors say her case serves as a warning about the dangers of eating wild mushrooms.

“My advice is that the general public needs to be aware about the dangers of ingesting the wrong kind of mushroom, and those poisonous and edible mushrooms can look very similar,” Corey Stein, one of the study’s authors, said in a phone interview to foreign TV channel.

“It’s challenging even for mycologists (fungi experts) to tell the difference.”

Stein said the warning is especially relevant for immigrants, because poisonous mushrooms in Canada may resemble safe species in newcomers’ old countries.

Stein said foraging tends to be more popular in Asia and Europe, but the practice has become trendy in Canada in recent years, as city dwellers search for natural food options.

Foraging fans say the practice leads to natural and delicious dishes that taste far better than store-bought produce.

“There really is an inherent flavour of being closer to nature,” said Marion Kane, the chef at owner at Mad Maple Inn Marion in Creemore, Ont.

Speaking recently to TV channel AM, Kane said foraging can be a great way to elevate or inspire new dishes. But she also encouraged caution for new foragers.

“It’s really important to work with a local forager who understands what’s safe and not safe, and also the sustainable aspects of harvesting,” she said. “There are certain mushrooms that after a lot of experience that you’ll be able to recognize them, but definitely if you’re not sure, don’t touch them.

Stein said it is difficult to know exactly how many people get sick in Canada for after foraging. But statistics from the Ontario Poison Centre show Ontario and Manitoba received about 200 calls for possible mushroom poisonings last year. Of these, most cases are not as severe as the one profiled in his study. Stein said the case study was most serious incident he’s seen in his four years of residency in Toronto.

For those interested in safely foraging, Stein recommended people do their research, look for a guided tour and understand the risks.

And when it comes to mushrooms, he said, “Anything from a store would be my recommendation.”