Tips To Lower Cholesterol

Tips To Lower Cholesterol

Tips To Lower Cholesterol

Cholesterol and the conversation around it can often be scary and intimidating, but with proper diet and lifestyle changes, cholesterol can be managed very easily, and relatively quickly.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is naturally produced by your body and is also found in certain foods. It plays important roles in the body, such as building cells and producing hormones.

However, having too much cholesterol in your blood can be harmful to your health, so let’s take a look at how you can better manage your levels.

Types Of Cholesterol

Cholesterol can be classified into two types: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL cholesterol is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because it can build up in your arteries, forming plaques that can restrict blood flow and increase the risk of heart disease.

HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is often called “good” cholesterol because it helps remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream, reducing the risk of heart disease.

High levels of LDL cholesterol, combined with other factors like a poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and genetics, can lead to a condition called hypercholesterolemia. This condition increases the risk of developing heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

5 Tips To Lower Cholesterol

Tip #1: Incorporate Healthy Fats into Your Diet

Incorporating healthy fats into your diet is an essential part of maintaining a balanced and nutritious eating plan. One way to do this is by including sources of unsaturated fats in your meals.

Foods such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health. You can add sliced avocado to salads, sprinkle nuts or seeds on top of yogurt or oatmeal, and use olive oil as a dressing or for cooking.

Another option is to include fatty fish like salmon, tuna, or mackerel in your diet, as they provide omega-3 fatty acids that support brain and heart health.

Tip #2: Enjoy a Heart-Healthy Breakfast Everyday

Enjoying a heart-healthy breakfast every day is a great way to start your morning and support cardiovascular health. To achieve this, focus on incorporating nutritious choices into your morning meal.

Opt for whole grains like oatmeal or whole wheat toast, as they provide fibre and help regulate cholesterol levels. Include fruits such as berries, bananas, or citrus fruits, which are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Greek yogurt or low-fat dairy products can provide calcium and protein while keeping saturated fat intake low.

To add healthy fats, consider topping your breakfast with a sprinkle of nuts or seeds.

Tip #3: Switch to Whole Grains & Reduce Refined Carbs

Switching to whole grains and reducing refined carbs is a crucial step towards a healthier diet. Start by substituting refined grain products like white bread, pasta, and rice with their whole grain counterparts.

Whole grains, such as whole wheat, brown rice, and quinoa, retain their fibre and nutrients, providing more sustained energy and better digestion. Incorporate whole grains into your meals by enjoying whole grain cereals, oats, or whole grain bread for breakfast, and using whole grain options for lunch and dinner.

Gradually decrease your consumption of refined carbohydrates like sugary snacks, sodas, and processed foods. Oats are well known for lowering cholesterol and should be the first change you make.

Tip #4: Eat More Vegetables & Fruits High in Vitamin C

Eating more vegetables and fruits high in vitamin C is a simple and effective way to boost your immune system and lower your cholesterol. Start by incorporating a variety of colourful vegetables into your meals.

Bell peppers, broccoli, kale, spinach, and tomatoes are all excellent sources of vitamin C. Include them in salads, stir-fries, or as side dishes. When it comes to fruits, citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are renowned for their high vitamin C content.

Tip #5: Foods to Avoid

  • Red meat – Steak, beef roast, ribs, pork chops, and ground beef typically possess elevated levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. Opt for 90% lean mince, lean beef cuts (such as sirloin, tenderloin, fillet, pork loin, or tenderloin), and emphasize leaner alternatives for animal protein, such as baked skinless poultry or lean mince poultry.
  • Fried Foods – French fries, fried chicken with the skin, and other foods prepared in a deep fryer contain substantial levels of saturated fat and cholesterol due to the oil used for cooking.
  • Fast Foods & Processed Meats – Fast-food intake is a major risk factor for numerous chronic conditions, and processed meats, such as sausages, bacon, and hot dogs, are high cholesterol foods that you should limit in your diet. Every hot dog you eat is said to take 36 minutes off your life they are so unhealthy.
  • Liver is a lean meat that has a high cholesterol content. However, it is low in saturated fat and rich in essential nutrients like iron, copper, zinc, and vitamins A, B, and D. While liver is generally considered a nutritious food, it should be consumed in moderation due to its high vitamin A content.

Sometimes healthy lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower cholesterol levels. Exercise is essential too, especially on the cardio side. Running, cycling, and swimming are highly recommended.

If your doctor recommends medication to help lower your cholesterol, take it as prescribed while continuing your lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes can help you keep your medication dose low, and make the journey easier.

Have a look at some of our favourite healthy foods here. Speak to any of our Body20 Wellness Coaches, they have a wealth of information on lowering cholesterol and getting you and you body back into tip top shape.

Body20 is an all-encompassing, holistic approach to physical, and mental well-being. The mind & body are an ecosystem, and we understand the value of taking care of it all. Body20 members get access to Nutrition Doctors and Wellness Coaches to assist in improving the quality of their lives.

Book your free demo at your nearest Body20 Studio to find out more.