Top tips to Lower Cholesterol
By Daisy Wood
High protein diets have copped some flak for affecting cholesterol levels, but it needn’t be true if you are wise with your food choices.
If your doctor is concerned about your cholesterol levels or you simply want to know how to keep your cholesterol at heart friendly levels, read below for some great tips on how to control your cholesterol while following the Bodytrim way of life:
Increase Fruit and Vegie intake – of course fruit should only be consuming at breakfast and even then your fruit intake is limited, however try to include in your daily diet as many fibrous vegies as you can - the more colours the better. Fruits and vegetables are great at helping to lower cholesterol as they are low in saturated fat, cholesterol free and rich in fibre which helps to carry cholesterol away from the heart and help prevent its absorption. What’s more they are packed full of vital nutrients and powerful heart protecting antioxidants.
Reduce your intake of unhealthy fats – saturated and trans fats have been shown to increase cholesterol levels, in particular trans fats. To achieve this, limit your consumption of processed and fatty foods, choose low fat dairy products where you can, and trim any excess fat from meat and skin from poultry before cooking. Use healthy fats when cooking such as olive oil, canola oil and grapeseed oil and replace butter or margarine with avocado and flaxseed oil.
Go for garlic- studies have shown that as part of a low fat diet, consumption of garlic can help reduce cholesterol levels by lowering LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and increasing HDL ‘good’ cholesterol . Garlic also helps to thin the blood and therefore is useful in helping to prevent heart attacks. In fact, studies show that countries which have a high consumption of garlic have lower rates of heart disease compared to those who don’t.
Love those legumes - legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and beans are fantastic options to help lower your cholesterol and they don’t just have to be for vegetarians. This is because they are low in saturated fat and a rich source of soluble fibre which helps carry cholesterol away from the heart. Furthermore, they contain the beneficial nutrients of iron and B vitamins. Consume these heart friendly protein sources several times a week in place of meat, poultry or seafood.
Fill up on oats - have oats several times a week for breakfast (don’t forget to add your protein powder of course). Make sure you have whole oats instead of quick oats as these are what will provide the heart friendly B vitamins, iron and soluble fibre shown to help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.
Go nutty - provided you are eating them at the right phases on Bodytrim and Bodyscuplt, nuts are a great way to ensure you keep your cholesterol levels in check as they are rich in unsaturated (healthy) fats such as mono and polyunsaturated fats. Choose nuts that are highest in unsaturated fats and lowest in saturated fats such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and pistachios, and always choose unsalted varieties.