If you have had a blood test which shows that you have a high level of cholestrol, you will need to make changes to your lifestyle. There are two main changes that you can make:-
1) Exercise regularly – Plan to do aerobic exercise for 20-30 minutes at least 3 times a week. Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise really gets your heart and lungs working. Examples of aerobic exercise are jogging, walking, cycling and aerobics. Check with your doctor before you start an exercise regime.
2) Change your present diet to a healthy, low fat, low cholestrol diet. The benefits of low cholestrol diets are that they not only reduce cholestrol but they also help us to lose weight, have a healthy heart, reduce blood pressure and give us lots more health benefits.
It is important that you make these changes because high cholestrol leads to heart disease.
What is a low cholestrol diet?
To follow a low cholestrol diet you need to:-
– Cut down on your intake of saturated fat, such as fast food, fatty meat and full fat dairy products, and trans fat or hydrogenated fat which is found in processed food. Check food labels.
– Replace saturated fat with mono unsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fats. For example replace butter with a polyunsaturated spread.
– Grill, microwave, steam or poach foods instead of frying. If you need to fry something then use olive oil which is mono unsaturated or fry with a little water.
– Replace some of your usual meat with oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines or trout, which are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, or with soya which is known to reduce cholestrol.
– Make eating more fibre part of your plans, especially soluble fibre which is found in oats and fruit and vegetables.
– Replace white bread, pasta and rice with wholemeal or wholegrain versions.
– perhaps add products that are actually designed to lower your cholestrol to your shopping list. You can buy spreads and drinks containing plant sterols and stanols which prevent the absorption of cholestrol in the body.
– Eat 5 a day – eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. They are important for their fibre content and some, like carrots, apples and prunes, contain pectin which lowers cholestrol.
– Eat plenty of garlic. Garlic has many health benefits including lowering blood pressure and cholestrol. If you do not like the taste, or you are worried about your breath smelling, you can purchase garlic tablets.
– Drink wheat grass juice – studies have shown that this super food lowers cholestrol levels.
It is not hard to make these changes and you will easily be able to adapt your favourite recipes to use low cholestrol foods or go and buy some low fat or low cholestrol recipe books. It is worth following a low cholestrol diet as this alone may lower your cholestrol without the need for medication.