Easy Eating to Lower Cholesterol
17 June 2015
High Cholesterol is just one of those unfortunate but very manageable things that so many of us are faced with in this day and age. Be it genetics, our modern day lifestyle, stress levels or eating habits, there are so many factors that can contribute to high levels of cholesterol, and for this reason it is always wise to look upon your health from a preventative approach. So many of my clients go into panic mode when they hear that they have high cholesterol. The immediate reaction is fear, followed by anger at the idea of having to eat boring and bland food. I can assure you that lowering your cholesterol does not require you to eat boring food. Instead, all you need to do is pick deliciously fresh and wholesome wholefoods that will nourish your body so that your body’s internal functions become regulated and stable. Once you cut out all the processed junk and enjoy food that is closer to its source, you will see just how well your body will respond, and cholesterol will not be the only thing that improves. Think healthy skin, nails and hair, comfortable digestion, fitting into those jeans again, and feeling fantastic (and of course lowered cholesterol) are all a plate away!
Here are my most effective tips in lowering your cholesterol the wholefoods way:
- Enjoy healthy fats such as whole nuts, nut butters (ones that are all natural and free from any preservatives, additives, thickeners or sugars), olive oil, olives, avocados, macadamia nut oil, sesame oil and coconut oil.
- Avoid vegetable oils, canola oil, and margarines (as these are heavily processed) I know many of these have stamps of approval from foundations or health organisations, however the problem lies in how these oil are produced.
- Cut down on meat, dairy and heavy cheeses.
- If you are in need of something sweet, rather choose raw, sugar-free chocolate, date balls, or a delicious homemade smoothie. There are so many ways to enjoy sweet treats the healthy way. Check out my Healthy Treats recipes for some super yummy ideas.
- The healthiest sources of animal protein include fish (salmon in particular is high in omega 3 which is known to lower cholesterol) free range eggs and free range (organic is best) chicken. I know organic is always more expensive, but if you are eating animal protein less regularly, it becomes more affordable to choose organic where possible.
- Fruits and vegetables, including whole grains, are good sources not only of heart-healthy antioxidants but also cholesterol-lowering dietary fibre. Try to get the majority of your daily nutrients from vegetables. And no, you don’t have to be eating steamed broccoli for the rest of your days… I have plenty of exciting vegetable solutions that are absolutely divine! Visit mySides and Salads section to learn more
- Soluble fibre is particularly effective in helping lower cholesterol. It acts like a sponge to absorb cholesterol in the digestive tract. Good sources of soluble fibre include dried beans, oats, and barley, as well as fibre products containing psyllium.
- Extensive research has demonstrated that regular consumption of nuts and seeds can bring modest reductions in cholesterol. Walnuts and almonds seem particularly beneficial. Nuts are a calorie dense food, so limit yourself to a handful or so a day. I recommend raw nuts, but you can really spruce these up by dry roasting these with a little salt, or for a sweeter piece, try dry roasting with a little cinnamon, xylitol and nutmeg.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. These wreak havoc on your health from all directions, cholesterol included!
- Drink lots of water, hot water with lemon, green tea and oolong tea
- Exercising regularly also assists with lowering cholesterol – try for four to five times a week of brisk walking, running, a cardio class at the gym, yoga or pilates. Above all do what works for you. Find an exercise source that you enjoy and stick to it.
No matter what your health goal, healthful living is delicious and wonderful! Hop on board….I guarantee it will be worth your while!
Yours in Health Always,