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10 Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol

10 Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol

Submitted by: Catherine Saxelby

The risk of high cholesterol

High blood cholesterol is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, along with smoking, high blood pressure, carrying excess weight, family history and a sedentary lifestyle. So it pays to have your doctor check your cholesterol regularly (particularly if you’re over 50) and look at ways to keep it down.

High cholesterol is usually defined as over 5.5 millimoles per litre (mmol/L).

However if you already have heart problems or have one or more risk factors, your doctor may prefer to keep it lower at 4.5 mmol/L or less. You need to discuss any blood tests with your doctor to work out the best course of action for you.

10 steps to lower your cholesterol

Here are 10 steps to help reduce your blood cholesterol if it’s high. They are listed in order of priority with the most important steps at the top.

1.Maintain a healthy weight. Often just losing excess weight if you’re overweight will automatically bring your cholesterol down. 2.Steer clear of saturated and trans fats. These are the ‘bad’ fats that raise cholesterol. You’ll find them in fried fast foods, salty snack foods, commercial pies, pastries and biscuits, fatty meat, deli meats (salami, bacon, sausages), chips, fries and doughnuts. 3.Eat small quantities of ‘good’ fats which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These are found in oils, soft spreads/margarines, nuts, seeds and avocado. Allow 1-2 tablespoons of oil for cooking and salads plus 1 tablespoon spread/margarine a day. 4.Eat 3 serves of sterol-enriched foods each day. Currently there are spreads (Logicol, Proactiv), milk and yoghurt (Heart Active). 5.Eat a handful of nuts (30-50g) a day, preferably unsalted. 6.Eat plenty of soluble fibre in oats, barley, psyllium and legumes (beans, peas). This can sweep cholesterol out of the body via the bowel. 7.Eat generous serves of vegetables and fruits for their antioxidants. Aim for at least 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit a day. Red wine, tea and dark chocolate also add antioxidants, but you don’t need heaps of these, 1-2 serves is ok. 8.Buy ‘whole grains’ whenever you can. Shop for grainy bread, muesli, oat cereals, cereals marked ‘whole grain’, and brown rice. 9.Swap to low-fat or skim milk and yoghurt. Buy reduced-fat cheese or use cottage/farm cheese. 10.Limit cholesterol-rich foods such as liver, kidney, brains, egg yolks, prawns and calamari (squid). You can eat them twice a week and make sure they’re cooked in a good oil. For most people, eggs are the food they miss most, so it pays to find egg replacers or recipes that don’t use eggs as binders (meat loaf or muffins).

Eat a handful of nuts (30-50g) a day, preferably unsalted. 6.Eat plenty of soluble fibre in oats, barley, psyllium and legumes (beans, peas). This can sweep cholesterol out of the body via the bowel. 7.Eat generous serves of vegetables and fruits for their antioxidants. Aim for at least 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit a day. Red wine, tea and dark chocolate also add antioxidants, but you don’t need heaps of these, 1-2 serves is ok. 8.Buy ‘whole grains’ whenever you can. Shop for grainy bread, muesli, oat cereals, cereals marked ‘whole grain’, and brown rice. 9.Swap to low-fat or skim milk and yoghurt. Buy reduced-fat cheese or use cottage/farm cheese. 10.Limit cholesterol-rich foods such as liver, kidney, brains, egg yolks, prawns and calamari (squid). You can eat them twice a week and make sure they’re cooked in a good oil. For most people, eggs are the food they miss most, so it pays to find egg replacers or recipes that don’t use eggs as binders (meat loaf or muffins).

About the Author: Catherine Saxelby is a dietician and nutritionist who writes articles on health and well being for Australian health insurance provider ahm. To know more about,visit our site http://www.ahm.com.au/

Source: www.isnare.com
Permanent Link: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=517139&ca=Wellness%2C+Fitness+and+Diet

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