Your weight, age, diet, gender and genetics can all play a role in having high cholesterol levels.
High cholesterol levels can be affected by the amount of alcohol you consume, your diet, your level of physical activity, heredity, weight, gender and age. Changes in diet can greatly help decrease your unhealthy LDL (low density lipoprotein – your bad cholesterol) cholesterol levels and keep those heart healthy HDL levels nice and high.
Here are some suggestions to help decrease cholesterol levels:
1) Eliminate Saturated & Trans Fats:
Saturated Fats: Saturated fat is a solid that makes other unhealthy fats in our body. Saturated fats are primarily found in animal fats such as cream, cheese, butter, lard and fatty cut meats but also found in some vegetable products such as palm oil. When choosing your foods look for extra lean cut meats such as white chicken, turkey and fish over red meat whenever possible. When choosing your dairy products look for low-fat or skim, milk and cheese. Choose olive oil and avocado oil instead of butter, and avoid fried or battered fish or chicken.
Trans Fats: Trans fats are made artificially and found primarily in processed foods. So with this in mind avoiding margarine’s and many processed foods is key in lowering your cholesterol levels. When choosing margarine be sure to choose one that is trans fat free. Avoid foods such as processed meats, anything fried or battered (yes that includes your favorite “fish & chips” meal), pies and pie crusts, shortenings, non-dairy creamers, microwave popcorn, cookies and crackers, frozen dinners, those wonderful crunchy Asian noodles, ice-cream, packaged pudding….the list goes on…and on…
2) Regularly Include The Following Foods:
Include Whole Grain Foods:
Our goal here is to primarily increase overall dietary fibre as doing this will dramatically help reduce your cholesterol levels. It is recommended that women get about 25g of fibre daily and men 30-38g. Canadians get about half of that, this is why supplementing with a good fibre consisting of both soluble and insoluble fibre is key. Try to think of soluble fibre latching on to your bad cholesterol and simply removing it. Jackpot! You can always contact me if you like as I carry a great product line of digestive care supplements including fibre.
- Steel Cut Oats
- Bran Cereals (look for a minimum of 4 grams of fibre/ serving such as: All-Bran, Bran Buds, Shredded Wheat with Bran.)
- Whole Grain Pasta
- Whole Grain Bread
- Brown Rice
- Beans & Lentils
Choose Fruits Rich In Fibre:
- Berries – Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries,
- Dried Fruits – Figs, Raisins, Apricots, Dates, etc.
Get Enough Vegetables:
Choose Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Increase your healthy monounsaturated & polyunsaturated fats such as omega 3’s. Doing this can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots.
- Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Ground Flax Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Unsalted Nuts & Seeds (Sesame seeds, walnuts & pecans are a great choice!)
There are a number of different foods available to better your overall heart health and increase vitality; the key here is implementing change and consistency. Including the above heart-healthy foods, limiting alcohol consumption, maintain a healthy body weight, and boosting your level of physical activity will all aid in lowering cholesterol levels.