How Do We Start To Lower Our Cholesterol Levels?
While it is important to watch the consumption of sugar, it also very important to watch our fat or cholesterol intake. So how do we start to lower our cholesterol levels?
Well, we can make a choice when we next go shopping. We can choose the products we buy by reading the labels and the back of products. We should be looking at the fat content for every product. That way we can start to reduce our overall cholesterol levels. We should always be selecting low fat dairy over full fat, the same goes for spreads and salad dressings. It all adds up as does the hidden added sugar content!
In addition though there are certain super foods if you like, those that naturally lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Yes that is right! For years food scientists have old us all fat or cholesterol was bad! That is erroneous. In fact some cholesterol may be doing your body good. The key is to lower cholesterol overall and also having a higher level of good cholesterol over bad cholesterol.
In this article we will look at a few ways we can change our diet to achieve better cholesterol levels and balance between good and bad cholesterol.
Ways To Reduce Cholesterol Intake
#1. Reduce Processed Foods
Instead go back to having more fresh food and home prepared cooking. Opt for real meat, vegetables and whole grains instead of processed and canned or preserved foods. Also eat more fish.
#2. Reduce Amount Of Food With Batter On It
If you want, opt for crumbed fish instead of battered. Or even go further by having baked fish with no cover, no breadcrumbs, just a dash of lemon to offset the fish!
#3. Know What You Are Buying
As mentioned earlier read the backs of all food and drink products you buy.
4. When You Eat Out, Opt For Lower Fat Options
Alternatively mix them with a salad or a juice. If you have a really fatty meal like Yum Cha or Kentucky Fried Chicken takeaway, decide you are going to have salad and water in the evening. Perhaps its good to have some herbal teas. Oolong and Pu-erh herbal teas are two such bad cholesterol (LDL) lowering herbal teas.
#5. Drink Pomegranate Juice
Yes, that is right! This juice actually lowers your bad cholesterol levels considerably, thereby reducing the incidence of heart disease and stroke.
#6. Blueberries, Cherries & Plums
Eating more of these will decrease your cholesterol levels.
Moderate exercise will reduce your cholesterol levels and therefore heart disease. The reason this happens is that exercising causes you to lose weight. When you are overweight (from not exercising) you have higher bad cholesterol (LDL) levels.
In addition exercise increases the size of protein particles. These carry both bad and good cholesterol through the blood, preventing them from clotting and getting lodged to form plaque which becomes problematic and may cause strokes and heart disease. The best kind of exercise for lowering cholesterol turns out to be walking, bicycling, gardening and jogging, about 30 minutes a day.
Drink more water and your body more efficiently eliminates toxins and unwanted material including cholesterol. The water effectively keeps your blood “cleaner”.
#9. Lose the Tummy Tyre!
Men especially develop this unsightly layer of fat in their thirties. Getting rid of this decreases your cholesterol, especially that bad LDL cholesterol by as much as 10%!
Eat more nuts daily. Even a handful introduced into your daily diet can make a difference. These boost the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol. One study showed that even chocolate covered nuts are beneficial in raising good cholesterol.
Increase your sleep to the required adult sleep of 8-9 hours a night. This automatically reduces cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. It is all about getting a regular sleep pattern established.
#12. Red Wine
Having red wine up to three times a week helps a lot. It increases HDL levels and reduces the risk of heart disease and clots.
Easier said than done but relaxing more by having time out, massages or even just quiet nights in burning or vaporizing aromatherapy oils can do the trick. So can a hot bath with bubble bath or bath salts to soothe those aching limbs and mind mid-week!
It appears that while reducing salt reduces high blood pressure it actually results in a slight increase in cholesterol. This might indicate that some salt is in fact good for optimum cholesterol levels but again it is all about moderation. Eating breakfast every day also lowers cholesterol levels, especially if you eat porridge or oats which essentially mops up cholesterol!
So we can see looking at all the above options there are many, varied ways to reduce one’s cholesterol. Also it is more important to reduce the LDL, cholesterol, which can slip through the narrower arteries to cause clot formation and strokes or heart attacks.
Also looking at all the options available it becomes clear that a little education, knowledge and effort can go a long way to reducing our cholesterol. The process of reducing the fats in your body can even be seen as a game. Why not get your doctor to measure your cholesterol in your blood every three months. Try and get it lower each time. Good luck!